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Malcolm Arnold
Philharmonic Concerto & Symphony No.7

With three major works by Malcolm Arnold from the mid-1970s, Dutton Epoch surveys his music written in Ireland. The focus of the programme is Arnold's Seventh Symphony, dissonant and exhilarating by turns in the first movement and ending with Irish elements crowned by a riotous Irish reel complete with the pounding rhythm of a marching drum. The distinctive sound of a cowbell in the outer movements characterises the music in memory. Peter Donohoe is the commanding pianist in the Fantasy on a theme of John Field op.116. Arnold called it a piano concerto in one movement in a piece in which John Field's radiant seventh Nocturne for piano is subjected to a variety of treatments from wild march and circus music to lush romantic panoply. The London Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned that vigorous display piece, the Philharmonic Concerto op.120, for an American tour. It is in fact a sort of Concerto for Orchestra and the RSNO rise to its colourful demands with typical verve. The composer promised it would offer the glorious sound of a symphony orchestra, and it certainly does in the RSNO's brilliant playing.

This impressive new SACD issue from Dutton Epoch This latest account of the Seventh Symphony (the first to feature SACD recording technology)
Orchestral playing throughout is taut and highly disciplined, with especially characterful woodwind contributions in the finale and high praise must go to the RSNO's principal trombonist, who brings a sonorous Mahlerian gravitas to the [Seventh Symphony's] slow movement's extended threnody an entirely committed and compelling performance
Yates and the RSNO begin their programme with a dazzling and vivacious new account of Arnold's Philharmonic Concerto resounds magnificently in this new SACD recording. Yates's performance is all one could ask, and every section of the RSNO plays superbly
[Fantasy on a theme of John Field] thrillingly realised here by Peter Donohoe, who makes the most of the vagaries of Arnold's formidably difficult keyboard writing in a performance which must now rank as the best available of this work
This is an absorbing and impressive new release, which all Arnold enthusiasts will want to investigate.
Michael Jameson, Beckus (journal of the Malcolm Arnold Society), Issue no. 96, Spring 2015

“ Yates [version of Symphony No. 7] has the best sound of all [versions], whether one listens to the Super Audio layer or the Red Book one Yates is very brisk in the rat-a-tat sections of this movement, and he draws glorious sounds from his players in quieter sections Yates is at his trenchant best in the finale He springs Arnold’s insouciant rhythms nicely and those lovely harp figures are superbly rendered ”
“ Yates gives us a big, sassy performance of the Philharmonic Concerto, commissioned by Commercial Union and dedicated to his old band, the LPO. Full of metropolitan rush and restless rhythms this is a piece that really needs to be played for all it’s worth. That’s exactly how it’s done here; the Intrada is exhilarating, Aria is moodily eloquent and the Chaconne has all the feistiness ... The RSNO are all fired up, the brass and percussion especially, and Yates paces the work very well indeed. As for the recording it’s simply spectacular ”
“ Yates’s Peter Donohoe is a most sensitive and stylish soloist [in the Fantasy on a theme of John Field] there’s a bright modernity, a sophisticated edge, to this performance Such is the magic of Donohoe and Yates the Super Audio recording is the icing on this oh-so-moreish confection ”
“ John Field’s Nocturne No. 7, which beats at the heart of the Fantasy, makes for an unusual but utterly appropriate appendix. Donohoe, particularly memorable in extrovert Busoni and Prokofiev, gives a pellucid, beautifully scaled reading of this little gem. The piano is nicely balanced and the detailed recording is outstanding. The fillers are mandatory listening for audiophiles and Arnoldians alike; indeed, the album is worth acquiring for those alone ”
Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International, March 2015


Hybrid Disc. This SACD is compatible with all CD players.


CDLX 7318



“the Seventh has prompted comparisons with Mahler and Shostakovich, no work that I know by either composer gives such vivid sense of desparate struggle for sanity. The mood swings are enhanced by Martin Yates’s fast tempos … to which the RSNO responds withcollective and individual brilliance.” “The orchestral virtuousity also lights up the Philharmonic Concerto.” “... Peter Donohoe is the excellent soloist. [Fantasy on a theme of John Field] Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine
Product ID CDLX7318
Price: £11.99
USD: $14.91 approx EUR: €13.28
1,609 JPY
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