Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Richard Arnell - Punch and the Child - Harlequin in April - Concerto Capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra - BBC Concert Orchestra, Martin Yates - Lorraine McAslan, Violin - Dutton Epoch 2009

Here is a great disc that contains two of Arnell's most important ballet scores, "Punch and the Child" (this is the first complete recording, Beecham's 1950 recording was actually not "complete" as the Gramophone review below states) and the glorious "Harlequin in April" which is a world-premiere recording. Both of these scores enjoyed success when they were premiered and the ballets remained in the repertoire for quite some time, touring the world with British ballet companies. The "Concerto Capriccioso" is Richard Arnell's second violin concerto, and is ripe with emotional impact. 

I will be adding notes about the current recording tonight (I must leave for work now) so for the time being I have pasted two different reviews below-they will be deleted late in the evening.

*Update: I just added the link, sorry everyone! That's what I get for posting whilst rushing :/  I will have to keep the reviews alone up another day, too tired to write now..






Gramophone:


This latest Dutton release of Richard Arnell's music is primarily a second instalment of the ballet scores that until recently provided much of Arnell's meagre representation on record. The accompanying note suggests that both ballets here were previously known only for their suites and are here recorded complete. In fact, the 22-minute concert version here of Punch and the Child was also recorded by Beecham in 1950. Like The Great Detective in a previous Dutton collection (11/08), it's sprightly, satirical, episodic music, and if Beecham's interpretation perhaps has a more spontaneous swagger, it's still splendidly done here.
Harlequin in April, recorded here for the first time, was Arnell's most enduring ballet in the theatre; it's a version of the Everyman theme, representing man's journey from birth to death. It's a decidedly more substantial score than Punch and the Child, with longer movements and altogether deeper intent, possessing some of the sound quality of Holst's The Planets to add to the suggestion of Prokofiev that permeates much of Arnell's finely orchestrated music.
The concluding Concerto capriccioso is really Arnell's second violin concerto, following the early one-movement work on another previous Dutton release. Though apparently never performed in Britain until this recording, it's an endearingly inventive and moving work, with sweet lyricism masking technical challenges for the soloist which include a second movement that's played solo.
These Arnell recordings provide the perfect demonstration of how CD has opened up access to neglected music with much to enjoy - especially when performed and recorded as expertly as here.

Archive:

This most welcome Dutton release, another installment in its exemplary restoration of the outstanding British composer Richard Arnell (1917–2009) to his rightful place in the 20th-century music pantheon, completes the survey of his four ballets with this premiere recording of what is the most complex and wide-ranging, both musically and symbolically, of them all, Harlequin in April of 1951. Although the scenario bases its allegorical treatment of everyman’s life-and-death cycle on figures from the commedia del’arte , this score contains some of the darkest and harrowing passages Arnell ever wrote for the dance. After a typically abrupt, bold, and busy introduction, we first hear the sad strains of “Pierrot’s Song,” which returns later in the two extended pas de deux to underline a tale of loss and defeat at the hands of the inescapable and fateful Unicorns. Even the miniature violin concertino (“Pierrot and His Violin”) is surrounded by intimations of heart-stopping regret and failure. Over all, this work has very little of the traditional spirit of April, and the elements of grotesquerie and caricature present in the puppet ballet Punch and the Child are kept to a minimum. 

The program opens with the first complete recording of Arnell’s heretofore best-known work, Punch and the Child , the 1947 ballet that was premiered in New York near the end of the composer’s American exile and later recorded in a concert version by Beecham reissued in several different formats over the years. Except perhaps for a few transitional measures, there is no discernible difference between the two recordings, though, while Beecham approaches the piece as an integral independent symphonic statement, Yates gives us a more dance-oriented, red-blooded and hence sharply delineated version that emphasizes Arnell’s inherent narrative skills and his Til Eulenspiegel -like strengths. 

As always in the past, Yates, here with the BBC Philharmonic, gives us his typically dedicated, glowing, and insightful representation of the Arnellian genius, with special emphasis on the revelation that is Harlequin in April.

Enjoy everyone

Richard_Arnell-Ballets_&_Concerto_Capriccioso-Tzadik.zip

http://www46.zippyshare.com/v/kjca0kER/file.html

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

SUUUUUUUUUUUUPER GRACIAS FOR ARNELL,otros opus inalienables,divertidos,giocosos,inhallables,muchas gracias,Master Tzadik!!,your friend of Pampas,m.veterinarium Marcello Tapirman.

kiki said...

I cannot see the download link :S Thanks

Anonymous said...

Your blog is really a gem. Thanks a lot!! Gabriel (Argentina)

Anonymous said...

Ohhh,no existe el nexus,por favor Sr.Tzadikhovhaness inmortal!!,cuando usted disponga de tiempo y paciencia,haga el link cósmico,thanks Master!! Dr.Tapirman,un fervoroso seguidor suyo y del blog.

Stephen Peithman said...

The download link appears to be missing for this very interesting recording.

Tzadik said...

Hola Doctor (Marcello) T, Pensé que tenías un nombre de pila;) Perdón por el vínculo, yo estaba en una prisa se me olvidó ponerla en línea -Es Que es muy, muy agradable que siempre comentas inmediato-que significa mucho para mí, y es genial que siempre sabe cuando estoy publicando cosas que le encantará: D Cada vez que visito blogs (no tienen tiempo éstos día) yo siempre agradecen el cartel, simplemente como un gesto amable de agradecimiento. Tú y yo somos iguales en muchos aspectos creo que mi amigo. Sé bien, señor de la música y la cultura ..

TZ

Tzadik said...

Kiki it's up now

Tzadik said...

Hi Gabriel, thank you for your kind words! I hope you continue to enjoy and visit.
-Do you like the Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez? (nothing wrong with national pride ;)
I think his Missa Criolla is one of the most beautiful and interesting pieces of music ever
written. There's nothing quite like it; I have been meaning to post it, I love the historic
recordings but Naxos also has a very nice modern (digital) performance of the folk-mass.

Best,

TZ

Tzadik said...

Hi Stephen, yes It's good stuff, Arnell has become one of my favorite (and the list is gettin' long!!)
British composers over the last 10 years (it was hard to find much back then). The link is now up,
sorry for the musical tease.

Best,

TZ

theblueamos said...

Thank you from Jerusalem.I have problems playing some of the tracks.I think the file names are to long.Any one else with the same prob...Great disc,even though.Be well.

Joan Tallada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan Tallada said...

@thebluamos Too long named audio tracks cannot usually be properly opened or played. To correct that, place the zip on the desk. Then open the zip withtout decompressing it. Carry the track to the desk and shorten his name directly under the track icon. Repeat the same with all too long name tracks. Once you're done, decompress the zip in a folder where you can replace the missing tracks with the new, shorter name ones you have on the desk. Best, Joan.

Toon van Dijk said...

Many thanks and regards from The Netherlands.
Veel dank en groeten uit Nederland

Tzadik said...

Hey Joan thanks for passing on the info for t.b.a., I hope it helped! I never have these issues on a mac,
file names don't cause problems bc of their lengths. Occasionally if the language is an Asian one, it can screw up the order of the tracks I find, but that's it really.

Best,

TZ

Tzadik said...

You are welcome, Maestro Toon ;)

TZ