RICHARD ARNELL (1917-2009): Sinfonia, Dagenham Symphony from the Film Opus 65, Landscapes and Figures, Op. 78, Overture "1940", Op. 6.
Catalogue Number: 01O005
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7299
Description: Dutton's eighth Arnell disc, all World Premiere Recordings of course, contains his first symphony probably getting its first ever performance. Written in 1938 while Arnell was still at the Royal College of Music, it was long considered lost until the manuscript turned up in 2008 in Lincoln, Nebraska upon the death of his first wife. The influences of Sibelius and Walton's Sym. No. 1 are strong in its first movement and less so in the finale; remarkable are the two slow middle movements, both meditative, the first featuring at times intense contrapuntal writing for the strings while the second is a calm, pastoral interlude score for oboe and strings. The Overture is a big, powerful and extended movement of 14 minutes while the two later works are both extended suites. Dagenham Symphony is the score for an industrial film of 1952 celebrating the assembly-line process at the Ford plant in Dagenham ("Prelude", "The Furnace", "The Hook", "Conflict", "Monorail" and "Assembly March" are the six segments) with powerful and vivid "industrial" music. From 1956 Landscapes and Figures is an eight-movement suite of "imagined and unpainted pictures" (Arnell) which are linked by solo piano introductions; each of them ("The City", "The Plains", "Gargoyle", "The Quarry", "Flower Piece", "Self-portrait", "Heirloom" and "Apothosis - a primitive") could easily be imagined as the main title music for a film. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Martin Yates.