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Malcolm Arnold

Publisher: Novello & Co

Sinfonietta No 1 (1954)
Paterson Publications
Sub Category
Chamber Orchestra
Year Composed
12 Minutes
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Programme Note
Malcolm Arnold Sinfonietta No 1 (1954)
Arnold’s first Sinfonietta was composed in 1954 on commission from the Boyd Neel Orchestra, so named after the conductor who founded the ensemble in London in 1933. The orchestra was the focal point of the English revival of Baroque string music in the 1930s. From the beginning, the orchestra commissioned new works and, by the early 1950s, the ensembles had expanded its repertory and commissions to Neel was appointed Dean of the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto University, Canada, a post Neel held until his retirement in 1970.

With this Sinfonietta Arnold has provided a three-movement work much in the spirit of an 18th Century divertimento. Its modest scoring of strings with pairs of oboes and horns, and the entirely approachable melodies of the piece, certainly suggest that era. The finale is exceptionally extroverted with an abundance of thematic material with which the horns have great fun as the work moves to a jubilant conclusion, perhaps giving us a glimpse of the “effortless bravura” of Arnold’s technique when he was one of England’s foremost trumpeters.

© Koch International

  • Ensemble
    San Diego Chamber Orchestra
    Donald Barra
  • Ensemble
    CBSO / Bournemouth SO / Philharmonia Orhcestra / Bourmouth Sinfonietta
    Malcolm Arnold / Charles Groves / Neville Dikes / Ronald Thomas
  • Ensemble
    London Festival Orchestra
    Anna Pyne, flute / Malcolm Messiter, oboe
    Ross Pople
    Arte Nova:
  • Ensemble
    English Chamber Orchestra / London Symphony Orchestra
    Norman Del Mar / Nicholas Braithwaite
  • 30 MAY 2020
    Perth / Australia
    Academy of St Martin in the Fields

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