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Friday, December 3, 2021

The hilarious, heartbreaking life and music of Malcolm Arnold

His orchestrations are brilliant and one place where his compositions will always be welcomed is in orchestral musicians. Among the professionals, Arnold’s music gives the impression that he was on their side. (He made frequent podium appearances, especially at leading events such as his Concert for Band and Orchestra, for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the rock band Deep Purple, which was a major milestone.) Before focusing on composition, he was a first-class trumpet player. eventually taking a leading position at the London Philharmonic, and he knew exactly what worked and what didn’t from within the orchestral organism.

His ability to transcend the sublime and the absurd is reflected in a recent recording by the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra of Latvia under the baton of John Gibbons, which combines Arnold’s austere Ninth Symphony with Hoffnung’s quirky piece, “Grand Concerto Gastronomique” for eater, waiter, etc. food and orchestra.

“There is quality in the way Arnold’s music reaches the audience,” Gibbons said in an interview. “Even in the Ninth Symphony, which explores the vast spectrum of human emotions, it is enough to fully understand them on the first listen.”

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“Gastronomique” is a striking snapshot of the satirist Arnold. (A movement called “Roast Beef,” winking at Elgaria’s nobles, is especially adorable.) But it is the Ninth, completed in 1986 and Arnold’s last major compositional statement, that Gibbons wants to overestimate.

“It’s not just grief,” he said, and indeed, Gibbons’s bouncy pace has caused horror in some quarters. “After Mahler, symphonists are expected to end in grief and existential angst, but this is more like the serene voyage of a composer reflecting on life from his old age.”

The conclusion of the ninth in D major is unexpectedly sunny, but can we hope for it? The short answer is no – this is just a partial denouement, fitting the quasi-finale of Arnold’s story, which continues unevenly, unevenly, until death.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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