Monday, June 20, 2011

Arnold's A Grand, Grand Overture

I first heard about this elusive piece 20 years ago, and thanks to YouTube I finally heard (and saw) it today: Malcolm Arnold's notorious A Grand, Grand Overture composed for vacuum cleaners, a floor polisher, assorted rifles and orchestra. It is a piece that is more than a musical joke, even though it was commissioned by Gerard Hoffnung for his hilarious music festivals. Beyond the weirdness, Arnold's natural gift for melody and orchestration shines through. An ideal vehicle for a Last Night of the Proms concert.