Film Music of Malcolm Arnold, Volume 2
Over two decades Malcolm Arnold provided scores for over 100 films. Almost all the music here comes from the 1950s, when memorable ideas were pouring out of him, and his unique orchestral palette was already glowing luminously.
The suite arranged by Philip Lane from Trapeze is quite outstanding in the quality of its invention, including a swinging tune for the horns in the Prelude, an engaging blues for saxophone and guitar to follow, an ebullient circus march, and a deliciously lugubrious ‘Elephant waltz’ for tuba duet, while the closing sequence opens hauntingly and then introduces an accordion to remind us we are in Paris. The suite from David Copperfield has a fine lyrical opening sweep, then introduces a delightfully quirky, syncopated moto perpetuo representing ‘The Micawbers’. This features a solo clarinet, and Christopher Palmer has arranged another witty clarinet Scherzetto from an equally winning theme used in You Know What Sailors Are.
The concertante Ballade for Piano and Orchestra adeptly arranged by Lane from Stolen Face I thought less memorable, but the overture from The Roots of Heaven (provided for the film’s New York premiere) opens with a splendid Hollywoodian/Waltonian flourish, then follows with more catchy syncopation and a lilting waltz tune. Perhaps the most tender, romantic writing comes in No Love for Johnnie (after another rousing march). The irrepressible score for