In 2021, the centenary of Malcolm Arnold’s birth provides the ideal opportunity to reassess this fascinating and indispensable figure in 20th century British Music. There can’t be any professional musician trained in the UK who is not familiar with the engaging and directly communicative qualities of Arnold’s work, but behind the popular image of Arnold is a much more complex personality, with a remarkably diverse output to match.
Arnold’s symphonies, works into which the composer poured his most serious and compelling musical statements, not to mention some of his most personal and emotional music, have for too long been unjustly overlooked. His Seventh Symphony, completed in 1973 is a startlingly original work (arguably the most deeply personal of all Arnold’s nine symphonies) and now boasts four separate commercial recordings. Listen to the Symphony here.