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BBC Concert Orchestra
John Andrews (conductor)


Originally intended as an opera for television, Malcolm Arnold’s collaboration with film-maker and librettist Joe Mendoza, The Dancing Master, Op. 34, was considered too racy for viewers in the 1950s and subsequently rejected for broadcast and largely forgotten. Conductor John Andrews, with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a stellar cast, breathes new life into this operatic gem, here receiving its first recording.

With its cast of larger-than life Restoration caricatures – the trapped heiress, the scheming maid, the over-protective guardian, and the handsome rake – the opera showcases Arnold’s taste for exuberant satire and tender Romanticism in equal measure.

'Arnold’s 1952 comic [The Dancing Master] opera emerges here as a musical gem under the watchful baton of John Andrews, whose lightness of touch is perfect for this brilliantly orchestrated score.'
The Sunday Times

Record of the Week
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE AWARDS 2021 - Nominee, Opera Category

     

Credits
© 2020 Resonus Limited

Ⓟ 2020 BBC / Resonus Limited The copyright in the recording is owned by the BBC.
The BBC word mark and logo are trade marks of the British
Broadcasting Corporation and used under licence.
BBC Logo © 2007 BBC
Catalogue No. RES10269

Producer & editor: Adam Binks
Engineer: Dave Rowell
EAN: 5060262792926
Cover photograph: The dancers of the night by suteishi (istockphoto.com)
Release date: 25 September 2020

'In short, it’s hard to imagine it done better. Arnold’s many admirers should snap it up, as should anyone interested in 20th-century British opera. With luck, this recording will make a staging more likely. For now it raises one of post-war music’s regrettable might-have-beens into a rewarding and very real 21st-century pleasure.'
Gramophone (Editor's Choice)

'From the big, bold opening that segues into a St Trinian’s helter-skelter to cod-verismo – and even perhaps a nod to Meistersinger in the suitors’ comically contrasting poetic offerings – this is no dismissible pastiche, but a seriously worthwhile addition to the repertoire.'
BBC Music Magazine (5 stars)

'Arnold has his advocate'
The Observer

'John Andrews sparks a lively performance from the BBC Concert Orchestra. It has brightened a Covid week for me.'
Norman Lebrecht (Disc of the Week)

Record of the Week
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

'Arnold’s 1952 comic [The Dancing Master] opera emerges here as a musical gem under the watchful baton of John Andrews, whose lightness of touch is perfect for this brilliantly orchestrated score.'
The Sunday Times

'[...] musically fresh, delicately orchestrated and entertaining thanks to the alternation of vocal romance and ensemble wit [...] The result: a sparkling performance by the BBC Concert Orchestra'
Orpheus Magazine

'This performance by BBC forces (70 years too late) is ideal. [...] Andrews’ conducting is lively and the sound quality is first rate.'
Limelight Magazine

'If you fancy a Restoration Ride from a symphonic master who ladles endless vivacity into his score, then don’t hold back: this is for you.'
MusicWeb International

'Andrews and his cast breath real life into the opera and make it all sound easy, and the orchestra bubbles away delightfully'
Planet Hugill

'[...] the music comes across with freshness and spirit. The score ranges from the sentimental to the acerbic, and all the better for it.'
Lark Reviews

'Under the direction of John Andrews, the BBC Concert Orchestra plays both the symphonic and chamber music passages brilliantly. A production that provides the best entertainment all around.'
Hoerbar NMZ

'The BBC production shows that high quality which has become rare today. Each role is cast with a strong singing actor who brings charm and wit [&] the interpretation of the BBC Concert Orchestra is more than remarkable.'
Fono Forum (5 stars)

5 Stars
The Telegraph

Malcolm Arnold: The Dancing Master, Op. 34

Malcolm Arnold: The Dancing Master, Op. 34

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1 2:49
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  • 2 1:48
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  • 3 3:43
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  • 4 3:35
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  • 5 2:56
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  • 6 2:43
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  • 7 8:05
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  • 8 2:07
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  • 9 3:48
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  • 10 6:58
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  • 11 3:15
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  • 12 2:18
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  • 13 4:26
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  • 14 3:00
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  • 15 6:32
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  • 16 3:20
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  • 17 1:26
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  • 18 7:18
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  • 19 3:06
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  • 20 2:18
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