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March 2020
The Malcolm Arnold Essay Prize 2020 is for students under 19 and is intended to encourage inquiry into Arnold’s work and to reflect on the experience of performing his music. The Prize is supported by the Malcolm Arnold Trust. An archive of Malcolm Arnold’s manuscript scores can be consulted at Eton College Library. Visit. The completed essay of between 2500 and 3500 words should be typed in double spacing and sent to maessay@icloud.com  by 1st August 2020. The adjudicators will be Dr Timothy Bowers and Paul Harris, and the winner will be announced in September. The author of the winning essay will receive £300, and the essay published in Maestro, the annual magazine of the Malcolm Arnold Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2020
Malcolm Arnold: Toy Symphony Op 62 – The Orchestra of the Swan, conductor Tom Hammond.
Orchid Classics - ‘Not Now Bernard and other stories’
Catalogue 100115
Malcolm Arnold conducted the first performance of his ‘Toy Symphony’ on 28 November 1957, at a special fund-raising dinner at the Savoy Hotel, in aid of the Musicians Benevolent Fund. This little symphony brims with wonderful tunes, a sense of fun and brilliance of orchestration. Scored for a professional quintet playing alongside a battery of toy instruments, in concert performances the toys are sometimes, but not always, played by amateurs. On this premiere CD recording though the musicians are certainly all professionals of the highest order! The Orchestra of the Swan, conducted by Tom Hammond, deliver a joyous performance: a heady mix of heart, soul and humour. Included on the disc are also works by Bernard Hughes, Judith Weir and John Ireland, wonderfully narrated by Alexander Armstrong. Music which will genuinely appeal to all ages. For general release in February 202, pre-orders may be placed with Amazon or Prestomusic

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2019
Malcolm Arnold: Fantasy for Oboe Op 90 – Sarah Roper (oboe)
Oboe Classics digital
The distinguished oboist Sarah Roper is Principal Oboe of the Real Orquestra Sinfonia de Sevilla in Spain – but is also regularly invited to perform as soloist, to give masterclasses and to take part in competition juries internationally. Her recent recording of Arnold’s ‘Fantasy for Oboe’ demonstrates beautifully her distinctive, exquisite tone and range of sonorities. To hear the digital recording click here Fantasy for Solo Oboe on YouTube now available as a digital track on Oboe Classics.

 

 

 

 

 

October 2019
The 14th Malcolm Arnold Festival, Northampton
Part of Richard Bratby’s splendid account of this year’s Festival, published in ‘The Spectator’:
 “… As this year’s edition of the Malcolm Arnold Festival showed, he had a glorious creative gift … his music is just so life-affirming!
 … To paraphrase Hans Sachs, to come through spring, summer, autumn and winter, through all life’s suffering and sorrow, and still sing a beautiful song — that is what we call a Master. Malcolm Arnold said only that he wanted to be remembered as ‘an honest composer’. I don’t think he was capable of being anything else.”
Richard Bratby, The Spectator, 19th October 2019
To read the complete review, click here.

 

 

 

 

October 2019
Malcolm Arnold ‘Fantasy for Guitar’ - Kristina Vårlid (guitar)
Simax Classics  – ‘An Idea’
Catalogue: PSC1369
 “Kristina Vårlid’s playing is technically immaculate an​d deeply involved. Guitar enthusiasts should invest in this issue without delay.”  - Musicweb International 
“This is quite a debut: Luxuriantly interpretative and varied in tone and shape, through musicianship that takes your breath away.” - Klassekampen, musikkmagasinet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2018
Fanfares – Onyx Brass, conductor John Wilson
Chandos – catalogue number CHSA 5221
‘Fanfare for a Royal Occasion’ (1956); ‘A Richmond Fanfare’ (1957); Kingston Fanfare’ (1959); ‘Festival Fanfare’ (1961); ‘Railway Fanfare’ (1975).

“…Sir Malcolm Arnold really should have succeeded Bliss as Master of the Queen’s Music and it was the country’s loss that he did not. The ‘Fanfare for a Royal Occasion’ amply shows he had the verve and the dignity to easily fill the post. ‘The Railway Fanfare’ shows he also had the humour too; here his three trumpets and trombones create the sound of the train on the tracks and I love how it safely slows down into the platform. He puts his players through some tricky double and triple tonguing which the Onyx players throw off effortlessly.
The performances under John Wilson are exemplary with extraordinary precision in rhythm and careful attention to dynamic ranges.”  Paul RW Jackson. British Music Society March 2018 To order a copy of this CD click here

 

 

 

July 2017
A major new art installation featuring a splendid statue of Sir Malcolm Arnold will be unveiled at the Guildhall in the composerís home town of Northampton on 31 July. The public grand unveiling ceremony takes place at 11.30. The installation by renowned sculptor Richard Austin was commissioned to commemorate five historical figures with a strong connection to Northampton. To read Northampton Borough Councilís official Press Release please click here Ö

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2017
Malcolm Arnold: Fantasy  for  Guitar Op 107- Sean Shibe (guitar) 
Delphian Records - 'Dreams & Fancies - English Music for Solo Guitar'
Catalogue DCD34193
Sean Shibe is a rising star in the world of classical guitar - and this CD recording of Arnold's 'Fantasy for Guitar' confirms his place as one of the UK's leading soloists. Composed in 1970 for Julian Bream, the 'Fantasy' explores many different moods and aspects of the guitar's potential . Within its ten minute span the music is sometimes boisterous and extrovert and at other times nuanced and gentle. (In the CD notes Sean Shibe refers especially to the composer's "flair for heart melting melody"). Brilliance of technique and great musical sensitivity, hall-marks of Sean Shibe's playing, are captured here beautifully on this new Delphian recording. The CD is now available to pre-order on iTunes click here and on Amazon click here

 

 

 


 

 

 

February 2017
Michael  Meredith, Curator Modern Collection at Eton College, explores the fascinating performance history behind Malcolm Arnold's music for  'The Tempest'. Composed for the 1954 Old Vic production starring Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Michael Horden and Robert Hardy, the manuscript score for this work is owned by Eton College Library.

The Isle is full of Noises: Malcolm Arnold 'Tempest'.
The 'Theatre World' critic described the music in the 1954 Old Vic production of 'The Tempest' as 'entrancing', a perfect accompaniment  to  Shakespeare's play, carrying the audience away with delight, wonder and rapture. Such high praise, shared by most of those who saw the play was a tribute to the work of the young composer Malcolm Arnold, who had been commissioned to undertake the task by the director  Robert Helpmann  after he had heard  Arnold's ballet music 'Homage to the Queen' at  Sadlers Wells.  Eton College Library has recently bought all that survives of the manuscript score  Arnold handed over, piece by piece, to the  conductor and musical director Christopher Whelan during rehearsals ..." 
To read Michael Meredith's  complete article featured in the Eton College Collections Journal  (Michaelmas 2016, published by the Friends of the Eton College Collections) Click Here ....

For information on the Friends of the Eton College Collections Click Here...

 

 

January 2017
Malcolm Arnold Archive deposited at Eton College Library
 A substantial collection of the manuscripts of the composer Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) has been deposited at Eton College Library on loan, and is now available to scholars for research.  The archive, which brings material previously on loan to the Royal College of Music together  with  privately held manuscripts hitherto unavailable to the public, has been catalogued on the Eton College Collections online database:  http://collections.etoncollege.com/ms-921
 The archive consists predominantly of Arnold’s  autograph music scores, spanning his lifetime and his broad musical range. The manuscripts include scores written for orchestra, chamber, solo piano and film, including the Four Cornish Dances and Serenade for Small Orchestra. Among the film scores are Suddenly Last Summer, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, and St Trinians, together with associated correspondence on their composition.  There are also more intimate pieces, including pieces Arnold wrote for family occasions.
 The majority of these are fair copy manuscripts but some are performance copies or have manuscript markings and annotations on them.  Accompanying the music scores are autograph letters to Malcolm Arnold from a number of his contemporaries, several scrapbooks, sheet music owned by Arnold and photograph albums.  As a whole, the archive gives a unique insight into the compositional processes of one of the foremost British composers of the 20th century.
 The archive can be consulted via appointment (Mon-Fri, 9.30am to 5pm) by contacting Eton College Library. Please email collections@etoncollege.org.uk, or ring 01753 370590.
 www.etoncollege.com/CollegeLibrary.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

December 2016
Symphony 7; Fantasy on a Theme of John Field; Philharmonic Concerto
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conductor Martin Yates / pianist Peter Donohoe
Dutton Epoch -

On this brilliant and compelling new CD Dutton Epoch  has brought  together three of Malcolm Arnold's  most important concert works:  'Symphony 7' (1973), 'Fantasy on a Theme of John Field' (1975) and the 'Philharmonic Concerto' (1976).
The  Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conductor Martin Yates, are joined by soloist Peter Donohoe  in the 'Fantasy on a Theme of John Field'. Donohoe's dazzling performance captures perfectly the enigmatic and fantasia-like nature of the concerto.
The orchestral  'Philharmonic Concerto'  is distinctive in character and technically demanding:  an Arnold sound world here explored with surety and brilliant dynamism .
Conductor Martin Yates also has an instinctive feel  for  the  colour and depth of feeling which lies at the emotional  heart of 'Symphony 7'. A symphony which, inexplicably,  is perhaps not as widely known as many of Malcolm Arnold's large scale works. Yet surely it deserves to be acknowledged as one of the  great symphonies of the 20th century. The committed performance on this new Dutton recording  can leave the listener in no doubt.

To order copies of this CD, please click here ...

 

 

 

October 2016
Symphony 7
Malcolm Arnold's seventh symphony was written in 1973, and received its premiere the following year at the Royal Festival Hall, with the New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by the composer.

Inexplicably,  this major work  is now rarely  heard live in the concert  hall today. A specially commissioned film from  Director Kriss Russman examines the power of Symphony 7 with those  who passionately believe it to be a neglected masterpiece:

 

 

 

 

 

News Archive

 

 

 

Premiere CD recording of Malcolm Arnold's 'Toy Symphony'. Performed by The Orchestra of the Swan, conductor Tom Hammond. Available on the Orchid Classics label for general release February 2020.

 

 

 

Director Paul Harris holding proudly Malcolm’s trumpet on stage at the 2019 Malcolm Arnold Festival. Copyright Adrian Harris.

 

 

Kristina Varlid (guitar) debut CD, including Malcolm Arnold’s ‘Fantasy for Guitar’. Available on the Simax label (PSC1369)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statue of Malcolm Arnold by Richard Austin at the Guildhall, Northampton
photo: Tony Meredith

 

 

 

 

Fantasy for Guitar - Sean Shibe (Guitar) -
Delphian Recordings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Burton, Michael Horden and Claire Bloom in 'The Tempest', Old Vic 1954.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katherine Arnold and Michael Meredith at Eton College Library. Photographer: Adrian Harris