“Good notes; fine playing. I recommend this CD to Arnold admirers…”
Fanfare - March/April 2010
“…He [Arnold] has posthumously found his definitive interpreter in Rumon Gamba, these performances that mirror the music itself in their ultra-clear verve and colour.
Performance **** Recording ****
BBC Music Magazine - March 2010
Recording of the Month
"...Over the years Malcolm Arnold’s music has been well served on CD and I have many excellent discs of his music on my shelves. But I fancy this is one of the finest of all. The BBC Philharmonic plays superbly throughout and Rumon Gamba confirms his excellent credentials as an Arnold interpreter that I first encountered in his disc of Arnold overtures a few years ago. Throw into the mix recorded sound in the demonstration class and you have a disc that no admirer of Arnold’s music will want to be without."
"...As usual with Chandos the sound is splendid..."
MusicWeb International - February 2010
“...With this disc, Chandos further strengthens its enviable track records of resurrecting forgotten British gems….Arnold’s ballet music couldn’t have found better ambassadors then the BBC Phil and Gamba; the sense of ‘first night’ excitement and drama they’ve created leaves one aching to see all four onstage, preferably with these great musicians in the orchestra pit."
Classic FM Magazine - February 2010
“The disc of Malcolm Arnold’s ballet music is no slouch in the sound department. Chandos, since their inception, have consistently produced recordings of demonstration quality. It is their style to place you in about the 15th row and the orchestra in back of the speaker plane. From there the well defined sound stage is wide and deep and the orchestra’s height seems realistic. It is right there, before you, on stage. Chandos have an equally impressive artistic record. The music on this disc is spacious and airy and well played. There is some heavy duty percussion at the beginning of Electra that is solid and startling. I enjoy listening to Arnold’s music, lots of good tunes, clear ideas and he was a masterful orchestrator. The ballet music offers much enjoyable listening and deserves consideration as a complement to his more substantial symphonies”
Audio Ideas Guide - 4 January 2010
"Malcolm Arnold’s name doesn’t automatically spring to mind as a major ballet composer, though in the 50’s and 60’s he provided an impressive roster of chorographers.. with a series of scores that in their time were both admired and controversial. Listening to the selection recorded here, you’re conscious of the variable mixture of practicality and inspiration that went into them. …The performances, with Rumon Gamba conducting the BBC Philharmonic, are terrific."
The Guardian - 8 January 2010
“This valuable addition to the Arnold discography includes several works new to disc. Given the nature of his inspiration, it is odd that Arnold did not write more ballets, so we must be grateful for these four very different works. …throughout this exceptionally well recorded CD I have been consistently taken by the quality of Gamba’s conducting and by the orchestral playing, the musicians clearly relishing this powerful and highly individual music.”
Musical Opinion - November/December 2009
“…Hearing this tender, exuberant music, one can be thankful that it has come to the attention of the BBC Philharmonic, which plays it with affection and panache.”
Daily Telegraph - 24 October 2009
“Malcolm Arnold’s great ballet scores championed with heart-warming commitment.”… “I need merely confirm that the BBC Philharmonic respond with commendable polish and gusto for Rumon Gamba, and their efforts have been afforded typically ripe and lustrous Chandos sound. A hearty endorsement whichever way you look at it.”
****** Editor’s Choice ******
Gramophone - December 2009
“This welcome disc from the BBC Philharmonic and Rumon Gamba brings together for the first time four of his ballet scores from the 1950’s and 1960’s when the composer was at the height of his powers.” “ … under Gamba, they [BBC Philharmonic]play these works with great passion and verve and make this a disc that every lover of Arnold’s music will want to own. The sound quality is excellent and there is an informative note in the booklet.”
International Record Review - November 2009