Richard Anthony Sayer Arnell, Tony to his friends, was considered by many as Britain's leading living symphonist. Sadly, Tony passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on the afternoon of Friday 10th April, 2009. He will be greatly missed by family and friends, but his vitality and spirit live on in the incredible body of work he leaves behind him.
His works include 6 Symphonies, 6 String Quartets, numerous film scores, ballets and books. He has been and continues to be an educator and mentor to many younger composers and musicians. Listen to extract from 4th Symphony..
His score for 'Punch and the Child' was recorded by Sir Thomas Beecham with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has seldom been out of the catalogue. Beecham once described Arnell as "one of the best orchestraters since Berlioz.."
"Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Smetana, and Schoenberg were in Arnell-like command of the genre's textural variety and contrasts." ... Hans Keller, 28th May 1983 - writing about Arnell's 5th String Quartet.
From 1943-1946, during one of Arnell's American sojourns, he acted as Music Consultant to the BBCs North American Service. Among the many prestigious commissions Arnell received during these years was one to compose a Ceremonial and Flourish for brass to mark the occasion of Sir Winston Churchills visit to Columbia University, in 1946.
He once stepped in to conduct one of his ballets at short notice, only to discover that Charlie Chaplin was in the audience.. Arnell went on to conduct many of his own works, the last occasion being in 1989 in YorkMinster, where he conducted his Symphony No4.
Upon Arnells return to England in the 1940s, he became a teacher of composition at Trinity College, London, and he remained a member of staff there until his retirement in the 1980s.
Arnell's final years were spent in a Musicians' Benevolent Home in Kent. He passed away on 10th April 2009 at the age of 91.
|Site built by www.grumpyoldgeek.net|
Listen and view Elegy, an arrangement of the slow movement from Arnell's 3rd String Quartet, performed by MusicaNova Orchestra, Warren Cohen conductor.
Sadly, Tony passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on the afternoon of Friday 10th April, 2009. He will be greatly missed by family and friends, but his vitality and spirit live on in the incredible body of work he leaves behind him.
LATEST NEWS from the conductor, Martin Yates...
... as I am recording so much of Tony's music you might like to have the latest news.
Dutton has released my complete recordings made with the BBC Concert Orchestra of The Great Detective (complete rather then the Suite) and The Angels - also complete.
We have just finished recording Symphony 1, Symphony 6 and Sinfonia Quasi Variazioni with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra also for Dutton, due for release in December. This means the complete symphonies will have been recorded. I also recorded Tony's Violin Concerto op 9 with Lorraine McAslam and the
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, due for release on a disc with concertos by Thomas Pitfield and Guern Creith in November/December also on Dutton.
We are recording the complete Punch and The Child and also Harlequin in April complete with the BBC Concert Orchestra in January 09 and later in 09 we will be recording again with Lorraine McAslam the Concerto Capriccioso op 70.
Not sure about the release dates of the last two CD's but I will keep you informed.
Con Brio recordings of Symphonies 4 and 5 now available. Sleeve notes by Patrick Jonathan. Review by Rob Barnett.
Dutton recording of Symphonies 4 and 5, conducted by Martin Yates, are to be released in August 2007