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Arnold - Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 CD

5 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Arnold - Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 + Arnold - Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8 + Arnold - Symphonies Nos 3 & 4
Price For All Three: £17.97

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Product details

  • Orchestra: National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
  • Conductor: Andrew Penny
  • Composer: Malcolm Arnold
  • Audio CD (30 April 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00005B4C7
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,531 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Symphony No. 5, Op. 74: I. Tempestuoso10:38Album Only
  2. Symphony No. 5, Op. 74: II. Andante con moto10:51Album Only
  3. Symphony No. 5, Op. 74: III. Con fuoco 5:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
  4. Symphony No. 5, Op. 74: IV. Risoluto 6:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
  5. Symphony No. 6, Op. 95: I. Energico 8:16Album Only
  6. Symphony No. 6, Op. 95: II. Lento 9:19Album Only
  7. Symphony No. 6, Op. 95: III. Con fuoco 7:04£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Listening to the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies of Malcolm Arnold, without reference to earlier and happier works, you may well wonder how it was he ever came to be considered a popular composer. The clown's smile for one thing - smile with turned-down corners: what really lies behind it? The humour of the Fifth Symphony, found mostly in its traditional place, the scherzo, is miles away from the belly-laughs of the Grand, Grand Overture's vacuum cleaners, while the 'popular' elements of the Sixth, the jazz figurations inspired by saxophonist Charlie Parker and well captured by Handley and the RPO, only add to the overwhelming unease that marks both works for its own. With hindsight, this tension is seen to meet its nemesis in the Seventh and Eighth, yet to be released on Naxos, though Andrew Penny's outstanding first recording of the enigmatic Ninth already stands as a goal for the series. Crazy mood swings punctuate earlier scores, of course: who could forget the savage march intruding on the Fourth's finale? But the locus classicus is the luxurious tune of the Fifth's Andante con moto, famously distorted at the end of the finale. For performers the challenge is not just to play the notes, but to imbue them with both sincerity and falseness, and Penny does this better than his rivals, Hickox and Handley; even better, perhaps, than the composer himself with the CBSO in 1973, whose reading nonetheless still carries the field for the sheer exaggeration of its musical camp.

Performance ****
Sound ***

© BBC Music Magazine 2001

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By chris_breemer@nl.compuware.com on 12 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
As a keen follower of Andrew Penny's series of Malcolm Arnold symphonies, I'm not yet able to warm to these two symphonies like I did to nrs. 1-4 and 9. I had been warned, I suppose. Arnold the symphonist is a far tougher nut than the composer of the film music and the various Dances sets, and these symphonies of his middle period show a somewhat darker side of his musical personality. New ideas pop up around every corner, some of them priceless (an Arnold hallmark) but I don't yet feel these works hang together as well as the previous symphonies. There is much to admire though, and it may be true that works like this only reveal their full qualities on repeated hearing. The finale of the fourth symphony is the most consistently argued movement here, a fascinating and grim progression lightened up by bursts of hilarious drum-and-fife fanfare. I wonder whether it's inspired by the Orangist marches in Northern Ireland. What I do regret is the sudden return to the sentimental tune of the second movement (a musical wedding of Mahler's famous Adagietto with one of Arnolds's own English Dances), and the strange modulation that ends the symphony. It leaves me with a disappointing feeling that we had something good going, but the composer suddenly changed his mind for no good reason. Or worse, got bored with it.
Should these works ultimately feel to convince me, it will certainly not be the performer's fault. Penny and the Irish RTE Orchestra are reliable and committed and play this music for all it's worth - which is probably more than I realize just now. The sound is excellent, the brass and percussion especially well articulated (which is absolutely essential in this music).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By xxsfgsvs TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These two major symphonies represent a darkening further of Arnold's symphonic output from the Fourth. He was a huge supporter of Shostakovich's work and there appear to be some conscious references in both symphonies - particularly the Sixth. That said; these symphonies sound like Arnold alone. It is not so much the musical vocabulary but the fluency and the disconcerting twists and turns along the way. I think Leonard Bernstein's very theatrical approach to composition was perhaps similar though perhaps even more more eclectic.

The Fifth brings many of the disparate elements that made up his Fourth Symphony to make an even more convincing whole, where triumph and optimism carries a sinister smile at best and the triumphalist and distorted return to the grand andante theme towards the end of the finale is another deliberately hollow gesture.

The opening movement sets the mood and the questioning opening oboe motif sounds mighty close to the opening theme in Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto. given that that had recently been premiered it might not be fanciful to suggest a conscious tribute. Both the opening movement and third movement scherzo are unsettling even though the scherzo includes a swinging trio section that still sounds a touch malicious.

The finale makes no attempt to reconcile the disparate elements instead preferring to have them jarring side by side. The fife and drum theme catches the ear but this jaunty theme, coming after the previous movements sounds hollow too. Add to that some stabbing woodwind passages that could have come straight out of the Shostakovich concerto. The collapse after the big andante theme is entirely right and appropriate. Not without reason is this symphony sometimes referred to as Arnold's masterpiece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This disc, very well recorded in 2000, comes into direct competition with Hickox. It also competes with Handley who combines different symphonies and partially with Arnold himself. The first thing to be stated clearly is that the playing of the Irish orchestra is quite the equal of the orchestras on the rival discs and that is no mean feat. The second thing to be stated clearly is that this recording by Naxos matches the Chandos one for Hickox and is far more weighty and 'present' than the Confer recording for Handley and is simply newer than EMI's for Arnold.

Penny and Hickox are remarkably similar in their approaches to both works. Both bring out the many lyrical passages and press the contradictory, dissonantly grinding and powerful climaxes fearlessly home. There is humour too, frequently tinged with irony which can be bitter. These works also touch on other genres such as can be heard in popular music but utterly transformed almost beyond recognition. Of the two works and their relative balance of light and shade, the 5th symphony is the less troubled but with the 6th symphony there is an obvious darkening of mood which leads on to the more troubled final three symphonies (7-9). Both of these conductors have the full measure of these two fascinating and rewarding works.

Arnold was an extremely experienced orchestrator and manipulator of musical ideas having learnt much of these things through composing over 80 film scores. However, those expecting to hear the lighter side of the composer such as in the sets of dances may be in for a bit of a surprise here. These are very fine but troubled works. This can also be said of many of the world's finest composers of course so this is no good reason to avoid them.
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