Piano Concerto op.44 (1946)
Symphony no.2 op.33, ‘Rufus’ (1942 rev. 1944)
David Owen Norris (piano)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Martin Yates (conductor)
Edwin Paling (leader)
Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow
19–20 September 2006
The Dutton Arnell series continues with the eagerly awaited second volume of his symphonies and, like the epic Third Symphony (issued on CDLX 7161), here we have another equally vivid symphonic response to the Second World War, written in New York between 1942 and 1944. Who can fail to respond to Arnell’s wide-spanning lines, his inexorable climaxes, his remarkable slow movement? Soon after the Second Symphony, the Piano Concerto was heard in New York, later at the proms in London, and now, championed here by David Owen Norris, it is revealed as one of the most approachable British concertos of its time.
"The torrent of enterprising offerings from Dutton Epoch shows no sign of abating. Martin Yates and the RSNO follow up their exciting premiere recording of Richard Arnell's Third Symphony with no less compelling and spirited rendering of its predecessor from 1942. Not heard until 1988, this is a most invigorating, tautly argued achievement, its clean-heeled outer movements framing a fretful Allegretto of considerable emotional intensity. The crowd-pleasing 1946 Piano Concerto is likewise brimful of ear-tickling colour, effective contrast and arresting drama - all relished to the max by the indefatigable David Owen Norris."
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone, June 2007
"Dutton has spearheaded the long overdue revival of interest in the music of Richard Arnell."
"Arnell's Second Symphony is more straightforward composition than his Third Symphony and here makes an excellent companion work to the Concerto. More straightforward structurally it may be, and therefore more accessible than the massive Third, but no less passionate in expression. It really is a fine work, and is quite magnificently performed on this disc."
"... Yates draws superb playing from the RSNO ... and all in all this is a very welcome release. Music of this quality manifestly does not deserve the long-time neglect which has befallen it."
Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, May 2007