Mystery score

Mystery score

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sir Malcolm Arnold

Sir Malcolm Arnold, symphonist and Academy-Award winning composer of film scores, has died. The obits are sad; he was an alcoholic and a schizophrenic who had a troubled life.

The Times Online obituary mentiones that reviewers considered Arnold's music too "popular," and that certainly caught my eye.

What on earth did such reviewers mean? His style was too much like that of popular music? His music got played too much? His music wasn't complicated or obscure enough? He made too much music composing?

All of the above?

I haven't read any of those reviews, and I don't know any of Arnold's music - well, okay, I've seen at least part of The Bridge on the River Kwai. What's representative? What's good? And has anyone seen any of the reviews, or know something about his reputation over time?

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