MALCOLM ARNOLD (1921-2006): Cello Concerto, Op. 136, Concertino for Flute and Strings, Op. 19a (from Sonatina for Flute and Piano, Op. 19), Fantasy for Recorder and String Quartet, Saxophone Concerto (from Piano Sonata) (ed. or orch. David Ellis [b.1933]), Symphony for Strings, Op. 13.

Catalogue Number: 10N008

Label: Naxos

Reference: 8.572640

Format: CD

Price: $11.98

Description: Don't be alarmed by the prevalence of composer David Ellis as editor and/or orchestrator in the list above. The cello concerto is all Arnold, premiered by Julian Lloyd Webber in 1988 and the 1990 Fantasy is also just a performing edition by Ellis (although the notes don't tell us what kind of editorial work was needed nor why). The 1948 Concertino is a bright little eight-minute work simply replacing the piano part with string orchestra and, while you may wonder why the 1942 piano sonata needed to be turned into a saxophone concerto (no help from the notes here either), it's a happy ten-minute outcome. The real meat is in the gritty and Bartókian 22-minute Symphony of 1946 and in the 20-minute cello concerto, the latter being a particulary good example of Arnold's ability to both write long, expressive melodies and to build structures using short, terse melodic fragments. Arnold collectors will note that the cello concerto is a world premiere recording. Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Esther Ingham (flute), John Turner (recorder), Carl Raven (alto sax), Northern Chamber Orchestra; Nicholas Ward (Cello Concerto and Symphony), Manchester Sinfonia; Richard Howarth (rest of works).


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