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Malcolm Arnold: Cello Concerto; Symphony For Strings; Fantasy For Recorder And String Quartet

> Shakespearean Cello Concerto, Op. 136 (2000 revised edition) - I. Allegro
> Shakespearean Cello Concerto, Op. 136 (2000 revised edition) - II. Lento
> Shakespearean Cello Concerto, Op. 136 (2000 revised edition) - III. Vivace
> Concertino for Flute and Strings, Op. 19a (arr. D. Ellis from Flute Sonatina) - I. Allegro
> Concertino for Flute and Strings, Op. 19a (arr. D. Ellis from Flute Sonatina) - II. Andante
> Concertino for Flute and Strings, Op. 19a (arr. D. Ellis from Flute Sonatina) - III. Allegretto
> Fantasy for Recorder and String Quartet, Op. 140 (2001 revised version) - I. Andante e mesto
> Fantasy for Recorder and String Quartet, Op. 140 (2001 revised version) - II. Allegro
> Fantasy for Recorder and String Quartet, Op. 140 (2001 revised version) - III. Lento e mesto
> Fantasy for Recorder and String Quartet, Op. 140 (2001 revised version) - IV. Allegretto
> Fantasy for Recorder and String Quartet, Op. 140 (2001 revised version) - V. Vivace
> Saxophone Concerto (arr. D. Ellis from Piano Sonata) - I. Allegro ma non troppo
> Saxophone Concerto (arr. D. Ellis from Piano Sonata) - II. Andante con moto
> Saxophone Concerto (arr. D. Ellis from Piano Sonata) - III. Alla marcia
> Symphony for Strings, Op. 13 - I. Allegro ma non troppo
> Symphony for Strings, Op. 13 - II. Andantino, quasi allegretto
> Symphony for Strings, Op. 13 - III. Allegro feroce

Album Summary

>Arnold, Malcolm : Shakespearean Cello Concerto, Op. 136
>Arnold, Malcolm : Concertino for flute & strings, Op. 19a
>Arnold, Malcolm : Fantasy for recorder & string quartet, Op. 140
>Arnold, Malcolm : Saxophone Concerto (arrangement of Piano Sonata)
>Arnold, Malcolm : Symphony for Strings, Op. 13
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Sir Malcolm Arnold's preference for classical forms is fully explored in this representative but uniquely distinctive program. Orchestrations of earlier works form the lyrical Concertino for Flute and Strings and a Saxophone Concerto whose bold statements foreshadow the gritty and powerful Symphony for Strings. Arnold's virtuoso Fantasy for Recorder and String Quartet is a late work, and the Cello Concerto was the composer's last in this form; a piece which speaks directly from the soul, appearing here in its première recording.

Fanfare
these performances are good and sound good... And the Cello Concerto seems a fairly healthy piece...

American Record Guide
the concerto is a wonderful piece... the result works amazingly well.

Allmusic.com
... flutist Esther Ingham handles the technical challenges cleanly, and in fact all the musicians seem attuned to Arnold's lively mood. Some of the music is probably second-drawer Arnold, but those who enjoy this unpredictable composer will find some overlooked gems here.

ClassicalCDReview.com
brilliantly played, and audio is superb. Here's another winner from Naxos - don't miss it!

Gramophone
Two meaty offerings from opposite ends of Sir Malcom Arnold's career top and tail this stimulating Naxos anthology. ... it emerges as an attractively clean-cut, formidably concentrated offering... The performances span a period of some five years (and emanate from no fewer than four different venues) but are never less than expert and thoroughly dedicated. No true Arnold enthusiast will want to miss this valuable release.

Classic FM
The Northern Chamber Orchestra and the Manchester Sinfonia respectively deliver crisp, intelligent readings, supporting two stellar soloist performances. In the Cello Concerto, Wallfisch encapsulates Arnold's peculiarly British musical sensibility brilliantly, giving us pithy severity one moment and personal, lyrical expressiveness the next. John Turner's recorder performance is a virtuoso tour de force.

BBC Music Magazine
All the performances are excellent, palpably savouring the composer's diamond-sharp craftsmanship; Raphael Wallfisch's mellow-tones virtuosity excels even in this company.

MusicWeb International
The Piano Sonata dates from wartime. It forms the springboard for the Saxophone Concerto. This is a most valuable addition as is the Flute Concertino. Carl Raven's sax plays the field from music that touches base with Glazunov's concerto... It ranges from hauntingly metropolitan nostalgia to the acidic Weill-like sardonics of the finale.

You expect and get real perception from Paul Harris's liner-note. He draws attention to the Bartókian asperity of the Symphony for Strings which he quite rightly says links with the similarly stern Concerto for Two Violins. It was written for the Kathleen Riddick String Orchestra which in 1946 had his first wife Sheila Nicholson as a leading member. Do not expect Arnold the melodic weaver here although there are tunes in the thorny melos. Fascinating material which places Arnold close to Rawsthorne and Shostakovich. This is the psychological vein from which sprang the asperities and snarling gloom of the Seventh and Ninth symphonies.

MusicWeb International, August 2012
Overall, Wit and his Warsaw forces have the measure of this extraordinary mass...What makes this new disc indispensable is the Sinfonietta. For both performance and sound it belongs in the top echelon of recordings of this dazzling work...In my opinion, then, Wit's is the best option now for this particular combination of works on one disc. The Sinfonietta alone makes it indispensable.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2012
The polished choral singing is a joy, with excellent pitching throughout, especially in the cruelly exposed unaccompanied entries. The orchestra's contribution is equally distinguished. How refreshing it is to hear such 'unhomogenised' clarinet- and trumpet-playing. The solo quartet also acquits itself favourably, in particular Christiane Libor, who is on spectacular form.

Classic FM Magazine
Petrenko makes a case that the Sixth could be amongst Shostakovich's most elusive puzzling creations...His solution to the Twelfth: stay out of the way, the RLPO's firepower is good in the telling...profound interpretative insights and stinging orchestral playing.

The Telegraph
Arnold's Cello Concerto, written in 1988 for Julian Lloyd Webber, fully justifies its resurrection thanks to its characteristic mix of vitality, broad melody and taut compositional procedures. Raphael Wallfisch and the NCO relish its expressive and enlivening potential, the orchestra coming into its own again in the much earlier, flavoursome Symphony for Strings.



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Works Details

>Arnold, Malcolm : Shakespearean Cello Concerto, Op. 136
  • Performer: Raphael Wallfisch (Cello)
  • Conductor: Nicholas Ward
  • Ensemble: Manchester Sinfonia
  • Running Time: 6 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1988

>Arnold, Malcolm : Concertino for flute & strings, Op. 19a
  • Performer: Esther Ingham (Flute)
  • Conductor: Richard Howarth
  • Ensemble: Northern Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 8 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto

>Arnold, Malcolm : Fantasy for recorder & string quartet, Op. 140
  • Performer: John Turner (Recorder)
  • Conductor: Richard Howarth
  • Ensemble: Northern Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 12 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1990

>Arnold, Malcolm : Saxophone Concerto (arrangement of Piano Sonata)
  • Performer: Carl Raven
  • Conductor: Richard Howarth
  • Ensemble: Northern Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 9 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto

>Arnold, Malcolm : Symphony for Strings, Op. 13
  • Conductor: Nicholas Ward
  • Ensemble: Manchester Sinfonia
  • Running Time: 21 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947