Malcolm Arnold Guitar Works

Hello there!

Some video goodies for you today and a post that flows nicely on from last week’s topic of broadening your listening and your musical perspective.

I wanted to share with you today one of my favourite, but not often heard (especially on the guitar) composers – Malcolm Arnold. Or Sir Malcolm Arnold to be correct.

English: Malcolm Arnold. Français : Malcolm Ar...
Malcolm Arnold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Malcolm Arnold was born in 1921 of my hometown of Northampton, England – he’s my homie!. The rebellious, jazz-loving youngest of five children he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music at the age of 17 playing trumpet, where he studied the instrument under Ernest Hall and composition under Gordon Jacob. Following his studies he joined the London Philharmonic as second trumpet and then principal trumpet. It was in 1948 that he left his orchestral role to concentrate on being a full-time composer.

Arnold composed was somewhat of a prolific composer, with works ranging from operas, ballets, symphonies (nine in total), concertos, chamber music, keyboard music, brass and wind music and choral music. He was also a highly successful film score composer, being decorated with an Academy Award for his score for The Bridge on The River Kwai (1957).

Amongst his chamber music and concertos feature works for guitar – yay! Arnold wrote his incredibly beautiful Serenade for Guitar and Strings Op. 50 (1955), Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra Op. 67 (1959) and Fantasy for Guitar P. 107 (1971) for Julian Bream.

As I said, the music is not often played, but I came across a video recently of the marvellously talented young Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe playing the Fantasy for Guitar. Have a listen….

Here’s the sumptuous Serenade from Singaporean guitarist Kevin Loh…

Here are some links to the whole Concerto, excellently played by Eduardo Fernandez and the English Chamber Orchestra….

And of course, I couldn’t leave this post without a bit of Julian Bream himself having a word to say about Arnold and demonstrating the Concerto



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