"...marvellously played, with a truly Arnoldian infectious exhilaration, and the Chandos recording is in the demonstration bracket."
The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12
Gramophone on CHAN 9967(2) (Arnold Symphonies)
However, Arnold’s many fans will no doubt relish the whole programme, including the first recording of the 1990 ‘Robert Kett’ Overture. And these are lively, well-recorded performances, with an outstanding contribution from the BBC Philharmonic brass.
BBC Music Magazine
Arnold’s genius was particularly suited to small-scale orchestral works and every one of these examples shows his orchestral personality at its exuberant best… The other works bring inventiveness and similarly brilliant scoring… All are most entertaining, and marvellously played; you’ll be glad to know that the ‘players’ of the vacuum cleaners and the floor polishers get a credit. The Chandos recording is of the demonstration class.
Rumon Gamba and the BBC Philharmonic plow through these items with élan and confidence, producing consistent solidity of tone and unerring precision of ensemble. Chandos’ sound is admirably blended and highly sensitive to textural values.
Arnold is arguably Britain’s greatest living composer, and certainly one of the most prolific. He also has a wicked sense of humour as shown in A Grand Grand Festival Overture, which features three vacuum cleaners and a floor polisher. This splendid CD includes the famous Tam O’Shanter and Peterloo overtures, and Beckus the Dandipratt. There’s also a premiere recording of what must be one of his last pieces, Robert Kett, from 1990.
Classic FM Magazine
But both approaches are musically valid and convincinga as well as emotionally rewarding, and this Chandos disc should be part of any self-respecting collection of 20th-century English Music. Hear! Hear!
The BBC Philharmonic plays splendidly for him and clearly enjoys the music. The Chandos recording is one of its finest. The notes are very thorough.
American Record Guide
Symphonies are brought off impressively… Gamba makes the work strangely compelling…
The Sunday Times ‘Records of the Year’ on CHAN 9967(2) (Arnold Symphonies)
This is a superb disc. Infectious fun, brilliantly played by the BBC Philharmonic, who are evidently inspired by their conductor Rumon Gamba. Arnold's music has swagger and verve, a true original.
The studio master reveals great detail and depth and sounds amazing played through a Dragonfly USB DAC.