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(1 reviews)  
Printed Edition
Composer:Arnold, Malcolm (1921-2006)
Instrumentation:cl. pft.
Publisher Ref:AL5900
5 of Sir Malcolm Arnold's 8 English Dances for orchestra, which are among his most popular compositions, arranged here for clarinet and piano.

Price: £8.99
Arranger:Harris, Paul
Skill Level:D
ISBN:none specified
The five dances presented here (one more than listed in the contents) have been selected from the two sets of four English Dances that Sir Malcolm Arnold was encouraged to write for orchestra in 1951 (Set I) and 1952 (Set II), inspired by Dvorak's Slavonic Dances. Among the most popular of Arnold's compositions, these unashamedly accessible pieces are not separately titled but are full of good tunes in folksong style, although no actual folk melodies are used.

The first of this set of arrangements for clarinet and piano by Paul Harris, marked 'Con Brio' (Set II, No.6) is in a spirited, almost jig-like 6/8 which becomes closer to a march towards the end. The following 'Andantino' (Set I, No.1) is in a lilting 6/8 with a touch of melancholy and its 'Englishness' is felt to come from the composer's use of the diatonic scale to which most English church bells are tuned. The third dance - 'Mesto' (Set I, No.3) is like a short lament, very folksong like but covering almost the whole range of the clarinet within its thirty two bars. Number four (Set II, No.7) is in 3/8 and marked Grazioso which produces a swinging feel, emphasized by more bell chiming. Dance number five, which is unlisted in the contents, is No.1 of Set II, marked Allegro non troppo. Fanfare like figures in the accompaniment give it a military feel which is enhanced by the grandeur of the second tune, like the trio of a march.

  • 1 Con Brio - Op.33 (1951) - Set II No.6
  • 2 Andantino - Op.27 (1950) - Set I No.1
  • 3 Mesto - Op.27 (1950) - Set I No.3
  • 4 Grazioso - Op.33 (1951) - Set II No.7
  • 5 Allegro non troppo - Op.33 (1951) - Set II No.1 (unlisted)

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Average customer rating:
(1 reviews)  

1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Julia Harding
Apr 5, 2021
(Verified customer)
The music is five stars and I recommend looking up the original orchestral suites and listening to Malcolm Arnold's mastery of orchestration as this will help you to understand the sound world. However, there are a number of editing errors and inconsistencies (especially in the first dance) which is disappointing and I urge the publishers to correct these and/or issue an errata sheet to accompany the present edition as soon as possible.
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