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Arnold: Complete Music For Solo Piano / Benjamin Frith


Release Date: 11/1994 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7162   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is more or less what you'd expect: a series of brief piano pieces (even the 1942 sonata doesn't quite mark the ten-minute mark) replete with quirky humor and elliptical expression. Arnold has never been a composer to reveal true emotion—his large-scale orchestral music has an emotional reticence even when the composer points to some extramusical stimulus—and these brittle miniatures fit that general picture. They can be very lovely: some of the earliest pieces here (beginning with an Allegro in F Minor dating from 1937) are disarmingly simple. Others display the knockabout humor that Arnold is famous for. But they all keep their distance. Most of these pieces are from the late 1930s and early 40s; only the Two Bagatelles (1947), Eight Read more Children's Pieces (1952) and Three Fantasies (1986) date from any later.

Benjamin Frith, who responds well to the music's changing moods and teasing playfulness, seems to have the composer's participation in this recording: the booklet includes two photographs of the two men together, Arnold with a marvelously understated look of irony in his hooded eyes. Good sound; informative notes (by Martyn Williams.)

None of this is important music, but it's interesting to hear it; and it's the first time it's all been recorded.

-- Martin Anderson, FANFARE [3/1995] Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Pieces (2) for Piano by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2. Sonata for Piano by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
Length: 9 Minutes 58 Secs. 
3. Variations on a Ukrainian Folksong, Op. 9 by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; England 
Length: 14 Minutes 53 Secs. 
4. Allegro for Piano in E minor by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Length: 0 Minutes 35 Secs. 
5. Pieces (3) for Piano (1943) by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
6. Serenade for Piano in G major by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
7. Day Dreams by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
8. Pieces (3) for Piano (1943) by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Length: 8 Minutes 24 Secs. 
9. Prelude for Piano by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
10. Children's Suite, Op. 16 by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: This performance is also included on Koch International Classics 7067. 
11. Bagatelles (2) for Piano, Op. 18 by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
12. Children's Pieces (8), Op. 36 by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; England 
Length: 9 Minutes 40 Secs. 
13. Fantasies (3) for Piano, Op. 129 by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Benjamin Frith (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1986; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 

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