Author Topic: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)  (Read 38836 times)

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cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #180 on: August 15, 2017, 04:11:03 AM »
I have listened to the two cd's of ballet scores by Arnell,several times,now. I have been enjoyed all of them. I find these impressive scores,full of invention,and contrary to what I said in a previous post;full of good tunes. In fact,I could probably whistle tunes from The Great Detective,over the kitchen sink! Arnell has his own soundworld,and if you like Bliss,Berners and Lambert,I think you would probably like these. Yet,Arnell has his own soundworld. I think Bliss is probably the closest British comparison. But Arnell,doesn't really sound like Bliss. The music is full of energy,and there is a cartoonish humour in The Great Detective,which I really enjoyed. Harlequin in April is a beautiful and touching score. The Angels has some very powerful music;and the Concerto Capriccioso is another lovely score. All in all,two of the most enjoyable cd's of music I have heard in the last few months. After listening to all of this,it does make me wonder why a composer like Arnell should have been so neglected. Bliss,Berners and Lambert,may not be heard in the concert halls. Their ballet music may not have been danced to,for a long time(more's the pity!) but at least they had some of their music available in recorded form. That said,major scores by Lambert had to wait until Hyperion stepped in. You would think emi would have got around to recording an Arnell Lp,or cd. Perhaps they would have,if the big labels hadn't hit the rocks,in the way they did? It's also a pity that some of these score's aren't danced to,anymore? I can remember seeing Checkmate on the tv!! The emi cd,The Composer conducts,includes an entertaining still from a production of The Great Detective. My late mother loved ballet music,and I'm sure some of these scores would have 'rung a bell',even if she didn't know the actual composer by name? When I go to stay with my father next I will have a look through her old ballet magazines,which contain allot of reviews,and stills,from ballet music like this. Also,some contemporary record reviews. I think there is a good chance there will be something about Arnell there. Maybe,I can reproduce something here? The ballet music from the movie,The Red Shoes,by Brian Easdale,is another wonderful score. (He wrote some concert music that might be worth rediscovery,too?)

By the way. Here are some old Lp's,with the Beecham recording of Punch and the Child,on them. A comical entry,on the left! ;D

 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #181 on: August 15, 2017, 04:51:38 AM »
What a nostalgia trip to see that CBS LP cover again!
"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).

cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #182 on: August 15, 2017, 08:53:38 AM »
That would have been an entertaining Lp! I remember you used to get Lp's with Lambert's Horoscope and Holst's The Perfect Fool. Often very old recordings. I didn't really pay so much attention to detail like that when I was young. I just played the Lp;and avidly read the back,of course! I didn't worry about recording dates.
I enjoyed those Lp's of Arnell's music very much I do like that period. Bliss,Lambert,Berner's (and Arnell,now! :)) Allot of it influenced,by French and Russian music from that period. Albeit,with a flavour of it's own. It will be interesting to see how long I can resist those Arnell symphonies! ::) ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #183 on: August 15, 2017, 10:35:04 AM »
That would have been an entertaining Lp! I remember you used to get Lp's with Lambert's Horoscope and Holst's The Perfect Fool. Often very old recordings. I didn't really pay so much attention to detail like that when I was young. I just played the Lp;and avidly read the back,of course! I didn't worry about recording dates.
I enjoyed those Lp's of Arnell's music very much I do like that period. Bliss,Lambert,Berner's (and Arnell,now! :)) Allot of it influenced,by French and Russian music from that period. Albeit,with a flavour of it's own. It will be interesting to see how long I can resist those Arnell symphonies! ::) ;D
You MUST hear Symphony 3 cilgwyn.
 >:D
"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).

cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #184 on: August 15, 2017, 01:37:35 PM »
Well,I've passed the first test,haven't I? If I like the ballet music on those two cds,I'll presumably respond positively to an Arnell Symphony?

Offline Christo

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #185 on: August 15, 2017, 03:03:20 PM »
You MUST hear Symphony 3 cilgwyn. >:D
Yes, why not try the Third, written in New York in during the war (it sounds not completely unlike the David Diamond symphonies from the same years). As Bob Barnett wrote when the Dutton recording was released: 'The Third really is a most impressive work of epic symphonic weight, circumstance and moment. If you doubt me try the last five minutes of the finale.'  :)

… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #186 on: August 15, 2017, 10:05:26 PM »
Yes, why not try the Third, written in New York in during the war (it sounds not completely unlike the David Diamond symphonies from the same years). As Bob Barnett wrote when the Dutton recording was released: 'The Third really is a most impressive work of epic symphonic weight, circumstance and moment. If you doubt me try the last five minutes of the finale.'  :)
+1

Then go on to symphonies 4 and 5. They are all good but I think that those ones are best. Arnell's mother was killed in the Blitz on London and I suspect that this influenced his Third Symphony. No.5 I find very moving, especially based on the return of 'the big tune' at the end - based on a popular song that his father used to sing.
"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).

cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #187 on: August 16, 2017, 12:36:01 AM »
I've seen some mixed opinions on Arnell's symphonies in reviews I've read. Also some mixed opinions on Amazon,including exchanges with someone by the name of Jeffrey! ??? ;D This has put me off in the past......and been an excuse to save some money! ;D (Now I wish I'd kept my cassette copy of the Piano Concerto!!) Judging by the ballet music I've heard on those two cds,Arnell does have his own sound.  Also,The Angels. I can see why the engineers joked about it being his Symphony No 5 1⁄2. It certainly does have a symphonic feel to it. I should point out that,I don't just listen to what any reviewer tells me. I use reviews as a guide. Allot of mixed opinions,or a number of reviews that all seem to share a certain point,for instance. In the case of Arnell,allot of the criticism seems to centre around Arnell having lots of good ideas,but not being so good on structure. One symphony I have been able to listen to,is the Second. I put this on a cd-r with Benjamin's sole effort in the genre. Another one vandermolen repeatedly ::) ;D recommends! While the Benjamin knocked my proverbial socks off,especially that blockbuster,cinematic finale that seems to go on and on,pulling out every stop in the book......one of those pieces of music you want to conduct;the "Rufus" had me reaching for the "off" button! Admittedly,that isn't generally regarded (it seems) as the best one;but it didn't help. The bits of The Fifth I have heard on Youtube have been more encouraging. I think I will try there first!! This time I will listen to the whole work. Incidentally. Why is it nicknamed "The Gorilla"?!!!

Regarding,the Benjamin. Now,I DO like that one. It's got a great tune for a start. And that finale? Is that exciting or what?!! I had my proverbial toothbrush out!! ??? ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #188 on: August 16, 2017, 10:01:21 AM »
I've seen some mixed opinions on Arnell's symphonies in reviews I've read. Also some mixed opinions on Amazon,including exchanges with someone by the name of Jeffrey! ??? ;D This has put me off in the past......and been an excuse to save some money! ;D (Now I wish I'd kept my cassette copy of the Piano Concerto!!) Judging by the ballet music I've heard on those two cds,Arnell does have his own sound.  Also,The Angels. I can see why the engineers joked about it being his Symphony No 5 1⁄2. It certainly does have a symphonic feel to it. I should point out that,I don't just listen to what any reviewer tells me. I use reviews as a guide. Allot of mixed opinions,or a number of reviews that all seem to share a certain point,for instance. In the case of Arnell,allot of the criticism seems to centre around Arnell having lots of good ideas,but not being so good on structure. One symphony I have been able to listen to,is the Second. I put this on a cd-r with Benjamin's sole effort in the genre. Another one vandermolen repeatedly ::) ;D recommends! While the Benjamin knocked my proverbial socks off,especially that blockbuster,cinematic finale that seems to go on and on,pulling out every stop in the book......one of those pieces of music you want to conduct;the "Rufus" had me reaching for the "off" button! Admittedly,that isn't generally regarded (it seems) as the best one;but it didn't help. The bits of The Fifth I have heard on Youtube have been more encouraging. I think I will try there first!! This time I will listen to the whole work. Incidentally. Why is it nicknamed "The Gorilla"?!!!

Regarding,the Benjamin. Now,I DO like that one. It's got a great tune for a start. And that finale? Is that exciting or what?!! I had my proverbial toothbrush out!! ??? ;D
Yes, those reviews from Jeffrey are not to be trusted - he's clearly a nutter.  8)

That Arthur Benjamin Symphony is very fine and I have both the Lyrita and Marco Polo recordings. The Lyrita is more epic but the Marco Polo has an interesting coupling, not featured on the Lyrita recording ('Ballade' I think but might have got that wrong).

Then you need to discover symphonies 3 and 4 by Stanley Bate if you don't know them already - can't remember if we discussed them before. Christo is an admirer too.
"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).

cilgwyn

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #189 on: August 16, 2017, 10:16:05 AM »
I'm sure I will get to the Arnell symphonies,eventually! ::) ;D I've just bought a couple more Arnold cd's.They are recordings you listed,in an earlier post (on the Arnold thread) as your own first choice (for each symphony).A clue! I bought a cd of No1,a cd of 1 & 5,a cd of No 3 and a cd of No 4. All will be revealed soon!! :)

 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #190 on: August 16, 2017, 10:37:03 AM »
I'm sure I will get to the Arnell symphonies,eventually! ::) ;D I've just bought a couple more Arnold cd's.They are recordings you listed,in an earlier post (on the Arnold thread) as your own first choice (for each symphony).A clue! I bought a cd of No1,a cd of 1 & 5,a cd of No 3 and a cd of No 4. All will be revealed soon!! :)
Excellent!
"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 Christo

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Re: Richard Arnell (1917-2009)
« Reply #191 on: August 16, 2017, 12:20:51 PM »
Then you need to discover symphonies 3 and 4 by Stanley Bate if you don't know them already - can't remember if we discussed them before. Christo is an admirer too.
Absolutely, Bate 3 and 4 are among the best symphonies that I know überhaupt  ;) - more concentrated and exciting than even Arnell, the Third is comparable to the Walton 1 in that respect.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948