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M Arnold and D Schostakowich, recorded concert on R3 at 19:30

Discussion in 'classical' started by George J, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

  2. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    The first half was pretty good... and the Arnold Fantasy for brass band played by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in the interval was terrific. I'll catch the second half later.

    Malcolm Arnold was a fine composer who remains underrated. Boozer, womaniser, a wreck who nevertheless cannot suppress the music within - music's equivalent of Bukowski, my favourite novelist. His 5th symphony seems to me on a par with anything by Shostakovich. Tragedy, dark humour, pathos... eventual acceptance of the world as it is, all in an English accent. Superb orchestration... and a wonderful tune.

    The Tony Palmer film Toward the Unknown Region is well worth seeing - but be warned that the deranged, snarling Arnold glimpsed towards the end is the stuff of nightmares.
  3. gustavm

    gustavm pfm Member

    I really enjoyed the second - especially the dark, brooding slow movement. If all his music were of this quality I think he would have been regarded as a great composer. I agree the 5th is probably the finest of the symphonies, but some symphonies are more inspired than others. His orchestrations generally are brilliant - he worked very closely with William Walton on the Battle of Britain score and contributed to both composition and orchestration - IMHO the "Battle in the Air" is one of the greatest pieces of film music.
  4. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    PS re. the Arnold Fantasy: I have just played the only other recording, also by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band but from a couple of years earlier, and conducted by Garry Cutt... and it's even better - tighter, more incisive, even more virtuosic than under Elgar Howarth. Real competition winning stuff. And the Chandos recording is excellent.

    "oeuvres pour cuivres maitres" will find it on Qobuz o_O
  5. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    I got hold of a recording of Arnold's 5th after seeing this thread... Richard Hickox & LSO on Chandos. Yes, its a very impressive symphony indeed and will make me explore further. I have his 7th, 8th and 9th on CD but haven't listened to them for years as they never really grabbed me then.

    But the work of his that is a regular spinner here is his Guitar Concerto from 1959, so almost contemporaneous with the 5th symphony. I think its the equal if not better than Rodrigo's ubiquitous Aranjuez concerto, although the comparison should maybe be avoided as Arnold was deliberately trying to write something for classical guitar that had no Spanish connotations! The recording I have is Julian Bream (its dedicatee) with Simon Rattle & Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

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