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Arnold: Symphonies No 5 and 6 / Penny, Ireland National So


Release Date: 06/19/2001 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8552000   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Malcolm Arnold
Conductor:  Andrew Penny
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Malcolm Arnold's music is so well crafted and effectively scored that it seldom fails to make a good impression, as fine recent recordings of the symphonies from Vernon Handley (Conifer) and Richard Hickox (Chandos) have convincingly demonstrated. Naxos' ongoing cycle, recorded in the presence of the composer, equals them, and in this case takes the palm pretty convincingly. Credit for this rests squarely with conductor Andrew Penny. The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland plays very well, but it doesn't have quite the bravura of Hickox's London Symphony. It's the interpretations that make the difference. In the Fifth Symphony, for instance, both Hickox and Handley fly through the first movement,
Read more then linger over the second. Penny takes a bit more time at the opening, allowing the delicate sonorities of the second subject the necessary room to blossom, and he doesn't linger quite so much over the Andante con moto, enhancing its oddly disturbing mixture of tackiness and despair.


This approach also works very well in Symphony No. 6's Lento, with its pop music inflections, while in the same work Penny's ever-so-slightly deliberate finale (shades of Shostakovich!) perfectly realizes the ironic hollowness of its ultimate victory. These aren't huge differences, but the opportunity to make comparisons among various versions not only increases admiration for the viability of Arnold's symphonic achievement, but it offers convincing proof of Penny's ultimate superiority. Nor does Naxos have to take second place in the sonic sweepstakes: this is one of the label's best sounding recordings from this source. Superb.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 5, Op. 74 by Malcolm Arnold
Conductor:  Andrew Penny
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2000 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 32 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 6, Op. 95 by Malcolm Arnold
Conductor:  Andrew Penny
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2000 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 24 Minutes 41 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great Mid-Twentieth Century Music September 8, 2016 By owen ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "julian Haylock (BBC Music Magazine) states that Arnold ''was neither a traditionalist nor a modernist, more a brilliant eclectic who commanded a breathtaking range of styles that he called upon according to mood and context.'' Arnold composed over 500 classical works and 132 film scores (Including the Oscar winning Bridge Over The River Kwai...one of those melodies that stick in your head long after you heard it). penguin Guide labels the Fifth ''conciously elegiac'' and the Sixth ''disconsolate.'' The Fifth moves from a dramatically vibrant first movement through a restrained andante bursting into a ''jocularly brash scherzo and finale.'' The melancholic beginning of the Sixth ''evaporates with the arrival of the joyous syncopated brass fanfare of the Rondo finale.''(PG) Arnold uses brass and percussion to dramatic effect in these accessible works. Just about every mood and mode can be found in these two symphonies from 1961 and 1967 which highlight the musical genius of Arnold. Strongly recommended." Report Abuse
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