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Malcolm Arnold

Publisher: Novello & Co

Flourish for a Battle (1989)
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for Band/Wind/Brass Ensemble
Year Composed
10 Minutes
Programme Note
Malcolm Arnold Flourish for a Battle (1989)
With his profound reverence for the idea of freedom, Arnold has written a celebratory work scored for the full panoply of the RAF band, and we can be sure of a rich tapestry of sound. The very opening is arresting and characteristic, a vigorous “Flourish” with a little twist in its tail. It is this tune which is the core of Malcolm Arnold’s piece, recurring frequently in new keys and with modified accompaniments. The composer uses battle rhythms to build up the excitement and tension before each reprise. For contrast there is a short central section where the woodwind play quiet triplet figures, and a flutter-tongue passage tests the musicianship of the whole band. The end is forceful and dramatic, even harsh, and as such it is wholly appropriate to both the heroism and the tragedy of the great battle of 1940 to which we owe our freedom.

© 1990 Piers Burton-Page

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