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Arnold: Dances


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Audio CD, July 9, 1996
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$11.39
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$11.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Arnold: Dances + English & Irish Dances Scotish & Cornish Dances Sarabande & Polka
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. English Dances, Set 1, Op. 27: No. 1. Andantino 2:51$0.89  Buy MP3 
  2. English Dances, Set 1, Op. 27: No. 2. Vivace 1:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
  3. English Dances, Set 1, Op. 27: No. 3. Mesto 2:25$0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. English Dances, Set 1, Op. 27: No. 4. Allegro risoluto 1:38$0.89  Buy MP3 
  5. English Dances, Set 2, Op. 33: No. 1. Allegro non troppo 3:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
  6. English Dances, Set 2, Op. 33: No. 2. Con brio 1:29$0.89  Buy MP3 
  7. English Dances, Set 2, Op. 33: No. 3. Grazioso 2:29$0.89  Buy MP3 
  8. English Dances, Set 2, Op. 33: No. 4. Giubiloso 2:12$0.89  Buy MP3 
  9. 4 Scottish Dances, Op. 59: No. 1. Pesante 2:08$0.89  Buy MP3 
10. 4 Scottish Dances, Op. 59: No. 2. Vivace 2:08$0.89  Buy MP3 
11. 4 Scottish Dances, Op. 59: No. 3. Allegretto 3:10$0.89  Buy MP3 
12. 4 Scottish Dances, Op. 59: No. 4. Con brio 1:21$0.89  Buy MP3 
13. 4 Cornish Dances, Op. 91: No. 1. Vivace 1:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
14. 4 Cornish Dances, Op. 91: No. 2. Andantino 3:09$0.89  Buy MP3 
15. 4 Cornish Dances, Op. 91: No. 3. Con moto e sempre senza parodia 2:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
16. 4 Cornish Dances, Op. 91: No. 4. Allegro ma non troppo 2:41$0.89  Buy MP3 
17. 4 Irish Dances, Op. 126: No. 1. Allegro con energico 1:19$0.89  Buy MP3 
18. 4 Irish Dances, Op. 126: No. 2. Commodo 2:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
19. 4 Irish Dances, Op. 126: No. 3. Piacevole 1:38$0.89  Buy MP3 
20. 4 Irish Dances, Op. 126: No. 4. Vivace 2:06$0.89  Buy MP3 
21. 4 Welsh Dances, Op. 138: No. 1. Allegro 1:22$0.89  Buy MP3 
22. 4 Welsh Dances, Op. 138: No. 2. Poco lento 2:59$0.89  Buy MP3 
23. 4 Welsh Dances, Op. 138: No. 3. Vivace 2:08$0.89  Buy MP3 
24. 4 Welsh Dances, Op. 138: No. 4. Andante con moto 3:27$0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00000149N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,144 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Harvey on July 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Malcolm Arnold, famous for his film music (Bridge on the River Kwai), symphonies (many available on the Chandos label), and overtures, is here represented in a very entertaining series of Dances; composed between English Dances Set I in 1950 and the Welsh Dances in the past decade or so, spanning Opus' 27 to 138.

In many of Arnolds' symphonies, he uses many sounds evocative of Mahler and Sibelius, often brooding, creating expansive landscapes with little program associated with the music. With this series of dances, you will find nothing of that. The dances might most closely be associated with a Holst Suite or the Vaughan Williams Folk Song Suite, etc., but that would be doing these works an injustice. Each set is filled with musical pictures of each country they represent.

Each set of Dances follows the form of 1. Fast Movement 2. Scherzo-esque movement 3. Slow Movement featuring a lonely solo wind instrument on melody taken up by the sweeping strings later and 4. Fast Movement.

The outside movements are all gloriously vivacious. They often feature bubbling woodwind sections, tight fast moving brass acclamations, extremely high horn rips, rousing melodies and climaxes to get the blood boiling. These outer movements are truly exhilarating. The scherzo movements are very playful, usually featuring the interplay between woodwinds and strings. The slow movements are among some of the most beautiful written. Obviously taken from folk-song sources, these gorgeous melodies and orchestrations remind one of Grainger and Vaughan Williams.

This CD alone could be bought just for English dances I & II and the Scottish dances (which has the jaw-dropping sixteenth-note triple-toungings and ear-crunching horn-rips).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Oliver on July 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Andrew Penny's recordings of Arnold Symphonies 1-9 are superb and I give them all five stars. This performance of the Dances doesn't rate as highly because the Queensland Symphony does not play with the precision or personality of Penny's Irish group. The Four Scottish Dances are an example: The trumpets struggle to articulate in movement 1 ; the bassoonist is cold sober in 2 (don't know if this was Penny's decision or if he just let it get by), and the oboe playing is not in the same league as the fine work on Penny's Irish Orchestra CDs. Solo work throughout the Queensland recording has an anonymity which is more typical of good college players who don't or can't reveal themselves in their playing,and are unable to contribute the kind of artistry which merges with the composition to add to the overall impact.

Recording quality, at least on my system, sounds treble-heavy with middle voices and basses seriously shortchanged. I know my components have their limits but I hear no such problems on Penny's National Orchestra of Ireland recordings. Bryden Thomson's Chandos CD of the Dances has detail missing from the Queensland Dances and has much better overall sound.

A main reason to get this CD of the Dances is the inclusion of the Four Welsh Dances, which are not on Thomson's recording. The Welsh Dances present a more pessimistic and somber Arnold; they're a fine work.

In summary, get Penny for Arnold's Symphonies and get Thomson for all Dances except the Welsh.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Robinson on February 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for something with a contemporary sound
with lots of energy then buy this CD. I was listening to
six dance settings by Holst and I fell asleep, then this CD
comes on and Wow! What a wakeup call. The quality of the performance is excellent and the interpretation by Mr. Penny
pleases me. Some of his tempos don't quite conform to the score but the effect achieved is believable. I give four stars because the overall recording level seems a bit low.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel White on March 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Sir Malcolm Arnold to a non-classical audience might know his name as the Academy Award winning composer for the movie, Bridge Over the River Kwai. However, he had quite the selection of pieces penned ranging from ballets to symphonies to light music. And for this CD, it is both a testament to the prowess that was Sir Arnold's gift for melody and to showcase some of the best that light music has to offer.

Now to an American ear, words like "light music" or "mood music" have a connotation of being music you just play in the background while you work, and it isn't really taken seriously or given much thought. Across the Atlantic, light music means music of a less serious tone: usually shorter concert works around a couple of minutes with a really strong melody and appeals to a much wider audience. But they aren't to be taken any less seriously. It was once a huge genre in England and is slowly regaining its popularity.

I will say this up front: This is one fantastic offering by the Naxos label. Not only does it include the oft performed English Dances: Sets 1 and 2; and the Scottish Dances, it also has the lesser-known Cornish, Irish, and Welsh dances. Having all six sets of dances on one CD at an amazing price, you can't beat that. But do the recordings sound as good as this offer? For the most part, yes they do, and when it's on, they shine brightly.

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andrew Penny performs all six of the dances with much conviction. They pour all of their energy into giving you the best performance they can possibly give, and they do well for the most part. Throughout all six dances, all the instruments are full sounding and have incredible balance.
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