Disappointing Arnold

A collection that's too fragmented to satisfy.

Composer: Arnold
Repertoire: Wind Chamber Music
Artists: East Winds
Rating: 2/5

Genre: Instrumental

Label: Naxos 8.570294

East Winds is a quintet of wind players here augmented when required by pianist Paul Chilvers and others. Its programme of 17 works comprised of no less than 30 short movements is too fragmentary to be satisfactory: there are no sustained musical ideas and the disc unintentionally illustrates Arnold’s worrying trait of swooping from the inspired to the commonplace at the drop of a hat. That said, his technical accomplishment and endless invention remain a source of wonder, keenly relished by the performers (with the occasional moments of dubious tuning) who invest whatever is presented to them with affection and playful vivacity.