The cheeky, roguish musical progress of the hero Beckus the Dandipratt, Malcolm Arnold’s first major orchestral work, is very much in the tradition of Till Eulenspiegel but more uninhibitedly vulgar. Its brilliant orchestral colours are archetypal early Arnold.
He was famous for film music, too, and the suite from the score for The Inn of Sixth Happiness shows his rich melodic flair in the gorgeous central “Romantic Interlude”, while in the finale we meet the composer’s infectious exuberance in his witty interpolation of the folk song “This old man”.Ivan March, Gramophone Magazine, 10/1/2006
In September 2004 London’s South bank hosted a mini-Malcolm Arnold festival which included the first screening of Tony Palmer’s film profile of the composer and a major concert of his music, played by the London Philharmonic, the orchestra in which Arnold had been principal trumpet in the late 1940s. The bulk of the programme has been issued on this disc […]. The pieces range across Arnold’s creative career, from the overture Beckus the Dandipratt, with which he first made his mark in British music, through a suite from one of the best of his 1950s Hollywood film scores to two late works. Andrew Clements, The Guardaian, 8/25/2006
[Arnold] made his name initially by writing a variety of film scores, and this album includes one of his most popular, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. The rest of the CD offers an insight into the numerous aspects of the composer's personality, from the jocular Beckus the Dandipratt to his troubled Sixth Symphony.Nick Bailey, Classic FM Magazine, 10/1/2006
...The sound is superlative: warm, impeccably balanced and transparently clear.Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review, 11/1/2006