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Hyperion Records

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Blues (detail) by Michael Praed
Private Collection / Reproduced by kind permission of the artist
Track(s) taken from CDH55071
Recording details: December 1984
Seldon Hall, Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: August 1988
Total duration: 2 minutes 43 seconds

'The Nash’s superb 1984 set of Malcolm Arnold’s chamber music makes a welcome return. The wide stereo spread of the quintets … enhances the sense of being in the room with the musicians’ (BBC Music Magazine)

'The playing of the various members of the Nash Ensemble is impeccable, as indeed is the recording' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Reveals Arnold at his most inventive: tuneful, witty and ingenious … The performances by the individual members of the Nash are impeccable. This set may one day be equalled but it is unlikely to be bettered, and it deserves classic status' (International Record Review)

‘An entertaining, at times compelling portrait of a British composer whose true measure we’re only just beginning to gauge' (Classic FM Magazine)

Duo for two cellos, Op 85

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1964 I asked Arnold for a simple cello duet of a length to fill a double spread in a teaching book which I was writing with Anna Shuttleworth. In a matter of weeks the Duo for two cellos dropped through the letterbox: tuneful, cunningly laid out for players of limited technique, of exactly the hoped-for length. Materials are simple: a lyrical motif based on thirds; another of Arnold’s favoured rocking figures; contrasts of bowed and plucked notes and a hint of bitonality. A small but perfectly proportioned piece, with not a note nor a bar too many nor too few.

from notes by Hugo Cole © 1988

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