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26-08-2015, 23:59

Rumon Gamba - Arnold: Ballet Music (2009)

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Rumon Gamba - Arnold: Ballet Music (2009)

Rumon Gamba - Arnold: Ballet Music (2009)
EAC Rip | Flac (Image + cue + log) | 309 MB | MP3 320Kbps CBR | 181 MB | 1 CD | Full Scans
Genre: Classical | Label: Ch&os | Catalog Number: 10550

"Rumon Gamba: ‘haveing recorded symphonies & film music by Malcolm Arnold & knowing how well his music is received by audiences around the world, I was surprised that there was no disc dedicated solely to his music for the ballet. The four scores featured here on this disc have such strong musical ideas & dramatic narrative, to say nothing of their sheer beauty & passion, that they come alive as pieces of music in their own right. & such contrasts on this programme - brutality & energy (Electra), sweeping romanticism (Rinaldo & Armida) & humour in all its guises (Sweeney Todd). I particularly enjoyed recording Rinaldo & Armida which deserves its place in the repertoire alongside those ballet scores we hear all too often in the concert hall.'"

Arnold's first ballet score, Homage to the Queen was commissioned to honour the Queen's Coronation & performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in 1953. The Times wrote of the 2006 Royal Ballet revival: "Malcolm Arnold's score is rich in majesty & filled with colour. A pleasure to hear it again." The ballet suite begins with a Prelude strongly reminiscent of the ceremonial idiom of William Walton's Coronation marches. The initial success of Homage quickly led to another ballet commission for Arnold. In 1954 he composed Rinaldo & Armida, a one-act ‘dance drama', & guest-conducted the first performance himself at the Royal Opera House on January 1955. Rinaldo was based on an episode from Torquato Tasso's poem Ierusalemme liberate (1581). Electra, which here receives is premiere recording was commissioned by the Royal Ballet & first performed in 1963. This work allowed Arnold to tap the darker side of his musical personality, as evidenced in several of his mature symphonies.

Ch&os is well known for its recordings of Malcolm Arnold's music - indeed, they are generally acknowledged by most to rank amongst the finest available - & the recordings of Arnold's film music are best sellers.

This unique anthology of ballet music should prove as popular, for the music is similarly illustrative & entertaining. Few of the ballets are represented in the catalogue & one has never before been recorded (Elektra). However they aptly demonstrate Malcolm Arnold's versatility, covering a broad range of musical moods.

Composer: Malcolm Arnold
Conductor: Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra "

"Reviews: Fans of Malcolm Arnold will want this disc as a matter of course; the music is wholly characteristic. Though nominally ballet music, there's little here that sounds especially danceable, which doesn't mean it's not rhythmic. Rather, these scores sound just like film music, & accordingly they are most interesting where they are most atmospheric--Rinaldo & Armida & Sweeney Todd, principally. Electra is largely atonal but sounds like Arnold anyway, while Homage to the Queen is one of those British pageant pieces that you'd have to be a hardcore monarchist to love. Still, it's brilliantly scored & lots of fun, & you kind of get the idea that Arnold wasn't taking it all that seriously (heretical though the notion may be). The performances are as vigorous & colorful as the music itself, & the sonics are first-rate. Not great Arnold, perhaps, but as I said, it's all very typical, & for many listeners that will be more than enough."


[1]-[6] Suite from ‘Homage to the Queen', Op. 42 (1953)

[7]-[12] Rinaldo & Armida, Op.49 (1954)
Dance-drama in One Act

[13]-[19] Concert Suite from ‘Sweeney Todd', Op. 68a (1959)

[20]-[22] Electra, Op. 79 (1963)
Ballet in One Act
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