Soundbite 60: A sixty-word précis-review of the latest CD releases

Beckus the Dandipratt – Comedy Overture, Op.5
Concerto for two pianos (three hands), Op.104
English Dance No.3, Op.27/3
English Dance No.5, Op.33/1
Peterloo – Overture, Op.97
Solitaire – Sarabande & Polka
Symphony No.1, Op.22
Symphony No.2, Op.40
Symphony No.5, Op.74
Tam O’Shanter – Overture, Op.51
Phyllis Sellick & Cyril Smith (pianos)

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra [Solitaire; Symphony No.1]
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra [Concerto; Peterloo; Symphony No.5]
Philharmonia Orchestra [English Dances; Tam O’Shanter]
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra [Beckus; Symphony No.2]

Recorded between 1955 and 1979
CD No: EMI 3 82146 2 (2 CDs)
Duration: 2 hours 32 minutes
Reviewed: March 2007
Arnold always was a memorably feisty and skilful interpreter of his own music, so it’s doubly frustrating that the marvellous 1955 RPO versions of the Second Symphony and Beckus (transferred from an extremely rare Philips mono LP – the master-tapes having long since disappeared) have been terminally over-processed; otherwise, all these vintage performances (the Fifth Symphony intensely involving) sound very well.


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