The Malcolm Arnold Edition – Decca CD 4765337; 4765343;4765348 :

Classic FM Magazine – November 2006

Magnificent Malcolm – Decca celebrates the composer’s 85th birthday with the superb Malcolm Arnold Edition
Wow! Sixty-one works on 13 CDs in three box sets. This is the way to celebrate the 85th birthday of Britain’s greatest living composer. Here are some of the 44 landmark recordings of Arnold’s work made in the 1980s and 1990s by the now-defunct Conifer label; Sony-BMG and Koch International also enter into the spirit of things by making, respectively, the Recorder Concerto and the complete solo piano music available for this edition. Artists include the RPO and Vernon Handley, the LPO and Adrian Boult, the London Sinfonietta and David Atherton, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, Michala Petri and Eduardo Fernandez.

Though you’ll have to look elsewhere (Chandos, for example) for Arnold’s many ballet and film scores, such an opportunity to acquire so many quintessential orchestral works is unlikely to present itself again.

Hats off to Decca for returning these discs to the catalogue and presenting them with such aplomb …
- Jeremy Nicholas * * * * *

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