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Malcolm Arnold

Publisher: Novello & Co

Symphony No 5 (1961)
Paterson Publications
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
33 Minutes
Alternate Orchestration
see Two Symphonic Movements in Wind/Brass Ensemble/Band section
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Programme Note
Malcolm Arnold Symphony No 5 (1961)
1. Tempestuoso
2. Andante con moto - Adagio
3. Con fuoco
4. Risoluto - Lento

This symphony is in four movements and is written for a normal symphony orchestra with the addition of a celesta. The four movements are divided into two pairs, the first thematically related to the third, and the second to the fourth. It will be noted that in the second movement, the composer is unable to distinguish between sentiment and sentimentality.

After the first performance of my Fourth Symphony there were so many things I felt needed to be said musically that I am more than grateful for the opportunity given me by the Cheltenham Festival Society to attempt to say these things.

Symphony No. 5 was commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival Society.
First performance by the Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Malcolm Arnold.
3rd July 1961 at Cheltenham Town Hall (Cheltenham Festival).

© Sir Malcolm Arnold

  • Ensemble
    National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
    Andrew Penny
  • Ensemble
    Munich Symphony Orchestra
    Douglas Bostock
  • Ensemble
    City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    Sir Malcolm Arnold
  • Ensemble
    London Symphony Orchestra
    Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/ BBC Concert Orchestra
    Vernon Handley
    Conifer Records Limited:
  • Ensemble
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Philharmonia Orchestra
    Malcolm Arnold
    EMI Classics:
  • 06 MAR 2020
    Hall of Jorge Tadeo University / Bogota / Colombia
    Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra
    Orhan Salliel, conductor

    Other Dates:
    7 March - Hall of Andes University / Bogota / Colombia

…perhaps we are only just growing able to hear and understand properly that strangely ambivalent tone of voice which longs, perhaps, for the world of Elgar, while stoically inhabiting an unbrave new world. The LSO gave the work a meticulously prepared, sharply focused performance, making the most of its Mahlerian slow movement, its angry acerbic scherzo and its perverse, still enigmatic finale.
Hilary Finch, The Times,01/12/1994
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