Symphony No. 5,
Divertimento No. 2,
Symphonic Study: 'Machines',
Sarabande and Polka,
The Belles of St. Trinians.
Munich Symphony Orchestra
Arnold the symphonist has always been eclipsed by Arnold the composer of
attractive, expertly crafted lightweight pieces. This disc contains both
sides of this productive personality, wisely beginning with the main item,
the Fifth Symphony of 1960. Premiered in 1961, it is a celebration of friends
whose lives were prematurely curtailed: the horn player Dennis Brain, the
clarinettist Friderick Thurston, the ballet dancer/choreographer David Paltenghi
and the humorist Gerard Hoffnung. The lyrical, tender second movement is
a poignant elegy to their memory. The symphony is confidently scored, and
the best possible case is put forward by the Munich Symphony Orchestra and
Bostock, complementing rather than displacing the composer himself in 1972
(with the CBSO on EMI
66324-2.) Bostock importantly avoids unnecessary melodrama so that the
music flows eloquently and naturally.
The Comedy Suite, 'The Belles of St. Trinians' receives its first recording.
It is a well planned collection, the Andante third movement providing a welcome
lyrical oasis between the rumbustuous outer movements. In addition to the
Second Divertimento (also appearing on disc for the first time), and the
two excerpt from 'Solitaire' (both vintage Arnold), the disc also includes
the Symphonic Study, 'Machines'. Here the more experimental (almost pointillist!)
side of this usually affable composer comes to the fore.
The recording is clear and analytical and the orchestra respond with enthusiasm
to this repertoire.
See Previous reviews: Rob Barnett
Hubert Culot & Gerald Fenech