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Topic: Malcolm Arnold

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  1. #1
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    Malcolm Arnold

    perhaps the last of the line of great classic/romantic composers died yesterday. Although he's best known for film scores, there is also (and for me much more importantly) a large output including 9 symphones, at least 20 concertos and a good deal of chamber music. These combines a rare melodic gift, piquant and economical harmony and orchestration and a huge range of moods and styles from the darkest to the most outrageously skittish.

    And yet he has been largely ignored except by amatueurs and youth orchestras in his own country though fortunately there is (or at least with an upcoming Decca 13 disk set soon will be again) a decent range of recordings.

    Does anyone else think he's been shamefully neglected? And is there anyone still alive composing in a similar vein who comes close to his level of talent?

  2. #2

    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Well, he hasn't been neglected by me. Long ago I sequenced on my computer his English Dances, Scottish Dances, and Tam O' Shanter for fun. I also conducted Tam O' Shanter in the days when I had my own orchestra. I have performed the top half of the piano duet accompaniment to his suite of choral songs, the title of which escapes me. I even know his Concerto for vacuum cleaners, etc. from the old Gerard Hoffnung days.

    But I have to say that his work always struck me as of uneven quality. Alongside music of great depth and life were other pieces of thinner stuff which deserved to be ephemeral. Nevertheless a man to be looked at. His orchestrations were models of clarity and simplicity.

    Terry

  3. #3
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    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Rest In Peace, Sir Malcolm Arnold.

    Here is an article from BBC
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/5374808.stm

    This has an MP3 of 1st movement of Quntet for Brass recorded by AJ Shankar at Berkeley. Scroll down about a third of the way, a little bit stiff at the beginning but it gets better when they get rolling.
    http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~ushankar/recordings/

    This is the Malcom Arnold website, looks like there was already plans for some concerts of his music to commemorate his 85th year.
    http://www.malcolmarnold.co.uk/index.php

  4. #4

    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Quote Originally Posted by dko22
    ...Does anyone else think he's been shamefully neglected? And is there anyone still alive composing in a similar vein who comes close to his level of talent?
    Nice post. I have a lot of sympathy for his music with it's amazing range and diversity. Definately should be performed more than it is. Ironically let's hope his death gives an impetous.

    I'm excited by your mention of a 13 disc Decca release - is that going to be the symphonies and orchestral works? In case I can't find it can you post a link.

    As a brass player I am particulary fond of his Symphony for brass so brilliantly performed by the PJBE. He was a trumpet player as far as I'm aware.

    Time to get listening again.
    David Carter (DaveTubaKing)

    Intel 8 Core i7 975 Extreme Edition 3.33GHz, Corsair 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz , Sibelius 6.1, Symphonic cube, MIR, Vienna Choir

    www.davetubaking.com

  5. #5
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    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Hi David,

    the link to the new Decca compilation is not very easy to find. Yes --it's the complete symphonies, most of the concertos and a good smattering of other orchestral stuff. I will certainly be ordering the concertos set as I only have a few of these and anyway with different recordings as much of the Conifer stuff has been unobtainable for some time and I only stumbled on Arnold about 3 years ago --fortunately some of them were in our public library. The set is due for release tomorrow.

    http://www.malcolmarnold.co.uk/biog/arnoldedition.php

  6. #6

    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Nine symphonies. You were one of the greats, Sir Arnold.

  7. #7

    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    This is sad (though not unexpected) news. I've loved his music for about years - really enjoyed his symphonies and dances.

    There is a heart breaking documentary about him by Tony Palmer called "Toward the Unkown Region" filled with interviews by his friends, family, and Malcolm himself. I highly recommend it as extremely insightful to the mind and personal demons behind this great composer. It is very sad though.

    Rest in piece.

    Karim

  8. #8

    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolman
    I even know his Concerto for vacuum cleaners, etc. from the old Gerard Hoffnung days.
    Does Garritan need to come out with a household appliances library? Can you physically model a vacuum cleaner or do you need samples? Then there's rug density, dirt and dust granularity, 110V versus 240V motors. Jeff? Tom?
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  9. #9
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    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheat Williams
    Does Garritan need to come out with a household appliances library? Can you physically model a vacuum cleaner or do you need samples? Then there's rug density, dirt and dust granularity, 110V versus 240V motors. Jeff? Tom?
    that piece also includes a floor polisher --not to make life too simple for Gary!

  10. #10
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    Re: Malcolm Arnold

    Quote Originally Posted by karelm
    There is a heart breaking documentary about him by Tony Palmer called "Toward the Unkown Region" filled with interviews by his friends, family, and Malcolm himself.
    Karim
    many thanks for reminding me about this -I've heard of it but not yet seen it. I soon will!

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