This disc, made in 1995, comes into close competition with the much-respected compilation disc from recordings made by the composer in 1979 and 1990 on Lyrita. That is still available and still sounds very well. It also demonstrates the very special ability that Arnold had to conduct his own music with insight and flair (not unlike Britten on his own recordings).
Nevertheless this disc is a strong competitor. Firstly, it has a price advantage as well as having a newer recording vintage. This latter is not really significant as Lyrita was years ahead of the competition as a recording company and had the advantage of the LPO on very good form. Nonetheless this disc has the added advantage of being even more complete as it includes the Four Welsh Dances that had not yet been composed at the time of the earlier disc. All of this is very well played and with evident sympathy by the Queensland orchestra under Andrew Penny.
In my opinion, owning both discs, I personally feel that Arnold has the edge as regards sheer flair for the epic scale of some of these wonderful short pieces - the last of the Cornish Dances being an example. There is little to choose as regards recording quality but there is a significant difference in price which may be the deciding factor for many purchasers as so much else is of similar quality and enjoyment. Purchasers cannot really go wrong with either disc. Buy both!