Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Playlist for the Coots; Beethoven, Sibelius, Arnold...

Some listening happening at home, ongoing and upcoming: Still exploring the Karajan Bruckner symphony set bought earlier this summer...listening to more Beethoven since the wonderful performance of the Third by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra a few weeks ago...trying to get back to my Finnish musical roots with Sibelius, an early favorite who first captured my imagination in my school years when I checked out the Barbirolli and Halle Orchestra recording of the Second on a vinyl LP from the public library...orders of all nine symphonies by British composer Malcolm Arnold mostly arrived from Amazon today. (The disc with the Third and Fourth is on the way.) I'm intrigued by Arnold after hearing his scores for movies, "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Hobson's Choice", and various short orchestral works, including concert overtures and several suites based on folk music of the British Isles. Arnold, who died in 2006, is another early to mid-20th century tonal composer eclipsed by the trend for modernist music. He found refuge, like some of his colleagues, in writing scores for films, but at the same time he was putting out serious concert music that needs more circulation. I bought the Naxos set of the symphonies with Andrew Penny conducting the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, so I can also look forward to hearing Penny's interview with Arnold on the disc of the Ninth...(My photo: A lone American Coot on Lake Kittamaqundi here in Columbia last Sunday afternoon. Howard County Bird Club friend says it's probably migrating through, but it might winter here if the lake doesn't freeze over.)