June 2019 Paul Harris, Director of the Malcolm Arnold Festival, announces this year’s exciting programme of concerts and events in Northampton (October 12-13): “I’m delighted to announce the 14th Malcolm Arnold Festival. We’ve entitled it, ‘Partnerships’, and it highlights some fascinating and fruitful friendships. As always, we’ve tried to include music from many of the different genres represented in Malcolm’s extensive output. There is a plethora of orchestral music this year, we’re delighted to be welcoming five different orchestras. Overtures, symphonies, film scores, dances and ballets are all featured. There is music for chamber ensemble, duos, solo instruments and voice. Scott Mitchell will be returning for a piano recital and to launch his new CD of the complete Malcolm Arnold piano music. Among the partnerships we are exploring, are those of Malcolm and Ruth Gipps and Malcolm and Shostakovich. I’m extremely pleased to welcome back the BBC Concert Orchestra who will be presenting the Gala Concert, which will include two of Malcolm’s masterworks; the suite from his ballet, Homage to the Queen, and his Symphony No.2, both written in 1953, the coronation year. We much look forward to seeing you all on the 12th of October for what promises to be another spectacular weekend.“ Booking Information: tel. 01604 624 811 / www.royalandderngate.co.uk Frequent trains from Euston to Northampton (journey time: 50 mins).
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
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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 CollectionsClick Here...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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: