Author Topic: sir Malcolm Arnold  (Read 104407 times)

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #660 on: January 27, 2022, 05:28:45 AM »
You have whetted my appetite! As a fledgling Arnoldian there is still a lot for me to discover!

They are quite different - absolute music (albeit with clearly defined "moods") but without the extra emotional weight that Arnold imbued his symphonies which I hear as more explicitly personal statements....

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #661 on: February 16, 2022, 07:36:50 AM »
After the extremely positive experience of hearing Vernon Handley's recordings of the Robert Simpson symphonies, I've been listening today to his recordings of Malcolm Arnold in the Conifer box set. So far, I have heard symphonies 1 through 3, and am really impressed.

I sometimes forget just how very enjoyable Arnold's symphonies are.
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #662 on: February 16, 2022, 03:21:18 PM »
After the extremely positive experience of hearing Vernon Handley's recordings of the Robert Simpson symphonies, I've been listening today to his recordings of Malcolm Arnold in the Conifer box set. So far, I have heard symphonies 1 through 3, and am really impressed.

I sometimes forget just how very enjoyable Arnold's symphonies are.

His symphonies are consistently engaging with lots of striking ideas. Yesterday when I was listening to his 5th on the Chandos disc, once again I realized how brilliant and even profound at times he could be.
Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.

I love the vast surface of silence; and it is my chief delight to break it.

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Online Mapman

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #663 on: May 01, 2022, 07:35:45 AM »
I listened again to the first movement of his 3rd last night. I really like his melodies. Unfortunately, I'm still unconvinced by the movement as a whole.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #664 on: May 01, 2022, 08:42:15 AM »
I listened again to the first movement of his 3rd last night. I really like his melodies. Unfortunately, I'm still unconvinced by the movement as a whole.

I am a big fan of Arnold in general and his symphonies in particular.  But in fact No.3 is one of the one's I respond to least.  Not helped by the very "obvious" ending.  Also, whenever I hear it there is a passage which reminds me of a particularly bad British Game Show theme from the 1970's called "Sale of the Century".  The association is tenuous but it puts me off the symphony!!

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #665 on: May 01, 2022, 08:45:57 AM »
I remember “Sale of the Century” - you could win stuff like Hoover vacuum cleaners. ;D

Offline DavidUK

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #666 on: May 01, 2022, 10:49:07 AM »
1st, 7th, and 9th symphonies are the ones I am currently enjoying the most. Pretty good stuff.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #667 on: May 01, 2022, 11:44:40 AM »
1st, 7th, and 9th symphonies are the ones I am currently enjoying the most. Pretty good stuff.
I think that the odd numbered ones are best although I also think highly of No.6.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline André

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Re: sir Malcolm Arnold
« Reply #668 on: May 12, 2022, 03:25:10 PM »
Reposting comments I made in the WAYL2 thread:

Quote
Malcolm Arnold, symphony no 7. BBC SO conducted by the composer.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TaAOT0RMmU


Arnold has conducted most of his symphonies on disc or in concert (1-7 AFAIK). This performance is the broadcast premiere of the work from a 1977 concert. It is the only time where I find that Arnold’s unusually slow approach does not really work. His performances of the others are wonderful, the best of the competition IMO  for nos 3 and 4.

In the 7th his way with the work is very measured, crushing but highly charged. Ultimately the music founders under its own weight. Timings tell the story: Yates and Gamba take around 32 minutes, Penney and Handley 38 and Arnold a whopping 51 minutes. I haven’t heard Groves and Downes yet (2 more YT videos), but both seem to clock in at 39 minutes.

The first movement alone takes 23 minutes against 12-13 for Y an G and 16 for P and H. Granted, it’s a highly personal statement, but high drama is turned into unrelieved gloomy tragedy. My favourite version is Penney, with Handley running him close. I have a feeling Groves and Downes will be interesting to hear.

Quote

Malcolm Arnold: symphony no 7.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXiyIIa3KHw Downes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrdtAGKGFTw Groves

Arnold’s most troubled, puzzling symphony. Each movement being a portrait of one of his children, it is understandable that the work does not seem structured conventionally. Also, in this instance Arnold seems to have laid bare some very personal, even raw sentiments. A troubling work, and possibly the composer’s most intimate one. I think it has parallels with Mahler 7 and Vaughan Williams 6 in its refusal to have anything ‘pleasoing’ to share with the listeners.

Two youtube links, with Charles Groves and the BBC Symphony, then Edward Downes and the BBC Philharmonic. Concerts honouring the composer’s 65th birthday (1986, Downes) and 70th birthday (1991, Groves). Both clock in around the same time (39 minutes) but there are big differences in conception. I came down in favour of Downes’ urgent, incisive treatment vs Groves’ moodier, slacker approach. Downes wins my vote and I think it’s a top recommendation anlong with the recorded accounts of Penney and Handley.