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CD Review

British Symphonic Collection, Volume 11

Malcolm Arnold

  • Ballet "Rinaldo and Armida" Op. 49
  • Little Suite #2 Op. 78
  • Ballet Suite "Homage to the Queen" Op. 42a
  • Concerto for Organ and Orchestra Op. 47
Ulrik Spang-Hanssen, organ
Royal Aarhus Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra/Douglas Bostock
Classico CLASSCD424 65m DDD
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Arnold's charismatic music receives an interesting survey here with this 80th birthday CD containing some of his rare works that are receiving première recordings.

Of special interest in this Jubilee year is the recording of the 'Homage to the Queen' Suite which receives its world première. The six movements are informed with particular gaiety and charm whilst the typical Arnold treatment makes the music turn into a glorious pageant like exposition.

The short Organ Concerto is similar in vein to the Trumpet and Tuba works and has Ulrik Spang-hanson catching on for dear life throughout the highly charged parts. I didn't care too much for 'Rinaldo and Armida', a ballet very much in the shape of Lambert's 'Pomona', perhaps a genre that does not appeal too much to this writer. The 'Little Suite #2' is also very welcome; this is Arnold at his most congenial.

The Danish orchestra are persuasive advocates of the music and for those who enjoy out-of-the-way music this disc is definitely a fine acquisition.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech