Malcolm Arnold: Symphony No. 4

Malcolm Arnold's Symphony No.4
Symphony No. 4, Op. 71

Allegro-Poco piu mosso-Tempo primo 13:05
Vivace ma non troppo 05:05
Andantino 11:38
Con fuoco-Alla marcia-Tempo primo-Maestoso-Allegro molto 07:59

"was also the year of the [London] Notting Hill race riots...
I was appalled that such a thing could happen in this country that racial ideas have become increasingly strong in this country dismays me even more.... I have used very obvious West Indian and African percussion instruments and rhythms, in the hope, first, that its sounds well, and second, that it might help to spread the idea of racial integration.

... first subject... Lydian mode. The conflict between the Lydian mode, with its sharpened sub-dominant [fourth], and a scale which has no name, but has a sharpened sub-dominant [Lydian lower tetrachord] and a flattened leading-note [Phrygian upper tetrachord - coincidentally the combined tempered pitches of the 64th Carnatic mela, "Vachaspati"], plays an important part in the development of the movement.

The second subject is in the major (Ionian) scale, and is accompanied by a rhythmic figure in 8/8 time where the quavers are divided into 3+2+3 (1--2-123...)

"... second movement is a scherzo which is more chromatic than is usual in my music, believing, as I do, that excessive chromaticism is the most devitalizing dead-end in the music of the last sixty years. This movement is not intended to arouse emotions that are necessarily pleasant.

... the eruptive alla marcia interlude just before the end of the finale he now reveals to be "the frustration of the artist. It's meant to be completely crazy - I hope it sounds crazy." (From the sleeve notes by Piers Burton-Page).

Malcolm Arnold, the ground breaking British composer.
Malcolm Arnold, the ground breaking British composer.