Symphony No. 4 (Arnold)

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Cover of the printed score of Malcolm Arnold's Symphony No. 4

The Symphony No. 4, Op. 71 by Malcolm Arnold was finished on 13 July 1960. It is in four movements:

  • Allegro
  • Vivace ma non troppo
  • Andantino
  • Con fuoco

The work was commissioned by William Glock for the BBC. The composer conducted the first performance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on 2 November 1960 at the Royal Festival Hall.

The composer wrote in 1971 that the symphony was a reaction to the Notting Hill race riots of 1958. He was appalled that such a thing could happen in Britain. And expressed his hope that it might help to spread the idea of racial integration.[citation needed]


The symphony is scored for the following large orchestra:

Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, snare drum, bongos, tom-toms, maracas, tam-tam, marimbaphone, celesta, harp and strings.

Commercial recordings[edit]