Symphony No 6


Full Orchestra
2.picc.2.2.2 - 4331 - timp - perc(3): SD/TD/BD/tamb/susp.cym/tam-t/cyms/t.bells - strings
First Performance
28.6.68, City Hall, Sheffield: BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra/Malcolm Arnold

Study score 0-571-50187-7 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

Malcolm Arnold Symphony no 6 It is seven years since I wrote my Fifth Symphony, and I have been working on another symphony ever since. The main reason for this is that I find the symphony orchestra still to be the most satisfying and exciting musical sound so far available, and an intelligent musical argument carried by this wonderful ensemble to be the highest musical peak. My Sixth Symphony was completed at the end of July 1967 and is in three movements. The first movement contains many phrases of the type used by Charlie Parker, the jazz alto saxophone player whose brilliant imagination coloured the whole of jazz in the 1940’s, so much so, that he can justly be considered to be the father of “Modern Jazz”, which although still called “Modern Jazz” ceased to be modern in the “Whizz-kid” sense some twenty years ago. To avoid any suggestion of jazz “gimickry” (which I detest) I have not used any percussion other than timpani throughout the first movement. The second movement is elegiac in character and pays a tribute in passing, to a style of Pop-music which will be dead by the time the work is performed, which might justify the whole movement being somewhat funeral. The last movement is a Rondo of straightforward design. The main theme is stated three times at the beginning of the movement, each time a major third higher. This is a device I use whenever possible because I like the sound, the only reason why I ever use any musical device or technique. Malcolm Arnold

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