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A Flourish for Orchestra - Malcolm Arnold, op. 112.
Faber Music
20 pages
ISBN: 0-571-52018-9

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Between Arnold's second flute concerto and the gigantic 7th symphony came his small, glittering A Flourish for Orchestra op. 112, which was written to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the granting of a charter to the City of Bristol and first performed in 1973 by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Rudolf Schwarz. Until last year the score was only available on hire but it has now it has been published by Faber Music in a study format (29.5 x 21 cm). Although this is rather small in size (a larger conducting score is still to be had on hire) it should suit all but concert use, as the music is uncomplicated and clearly laid out. The orchestration should not stretch average resources (double woodwind, brass, timpani, strings and percussion, although two sets of tubular bells are required) and is used with Arnold's customary economy. Rushing scalic passages, syncopated Waltonesque fanfares and shimmering woodwind punctuated by bells surround a haunting melody (which one might take to be a folk-song were it not that Arnold has said that he never uses them). The origin of this work as a four-minute pièce d'occasion ought not to preclude its more general use elsewhere, especially in 2001, the composer's 80th birthday year.

Andrew Plant

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