|About this Recording
8.573366 - ARNOLD, M.: Roots of Heaven (The) / David Copperfield (Moscow Symphony, Stromberg)
Foreword by Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921–2006)
Sir Malcolm Arnold: Introduction
In the immediate post World War II period, Britain was fortunate to have a variety of talented composers working in their film industry. Among them: Richard Addinsell, Brian Easdale, John Greenwood and Clifton Parker, with occasional forays from the classical world, Sir Arthur Bliss, Alan Rawsthorne, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir William Walton, all of them adding artistic excellence to the films they scored.
However, two of the three most prodigious composers of this period whose oeuvre stretched across both film and the concert hall were William Alwyn and Benjamin Frankel. Alwyn’s scores for Odd Man Out (1946) and The Rocking Horse Winner (1949) and Frankel’s for The Seventh Veil (1945) and The Man in the White Suit (1950) were vital contributions to these films. By the early 1950s, they were joined by a third, younger composer, whose name was virtually unknown in British film and who, by the end of the decade, would become internationally respected for his musical ability. Malcolm Arnold was to become one of Britain’s most admired composers. From the sound stages of Shepperton Studios to the Royal Albert Hall, his skill was to encompass every musical field.
Arnold’s keen sense of dramatic aptitude was ideally suited for marrying music to film. Whilst concurrently scoring films, he was also occupied writing symphonies, ballets and concert works. His ability to immerse himself in these various fields propelled him into a position where commissions came often, from both the concert hall and the film world. With his gregarious personality and joie de vivre came friendships with diverse composers and musicians: Howard Blake, Julian Bream, Adolph Deutsch, Benny Goodman, Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, Humphrey Searle, John Scott and William Walton, to name but a few. From the facility of his early scores for films such as Stolen Face (1952) and The Captain’s Paradise (1953), his reputation grew and ultimately he would be asked by American producers to score their films.
Malcolm Henry Arnold was born into a well-to-do shoe manufacturing family in Northampton, England in 1921. Whilst growing up, Arnold’s sister exposed him to jazz and he immersed himself in this new popular music. His idol became Louis Armstrong and upon seeing him in a live performance, as a boy, he was determined that he would make the trumpet his career. Arnold was later to return a musical gift to him by composing the Fanfare for Louis, dedicated in honour of “Louis Armstrong’s 70th Birthday with admiration and gratitude.”
Arnold attended the Royal College of Music (fellow composer John Addison was one of his classmates), studying not only the trumpet but composition as well. He would often spend his free time playing his trumpet in jazz bands—until his parents put a stop to it—and on one occasion, to alleviate the rigour of studying, placed fish down the barrel of the College’s pipe organ. (Hopefully the statute of limitations has run-out on this particular offense. School pranks aside, his sense of humour came to good use in both concert works (Tam O’Shanter) and film music (The Belles of St Trinian’s). After leaving the Royal College, he became one of the finest trumpet players of his generation and was soon the principal trumpet for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
After another brief period of continued study in Italy in 1947, he returned to Britain and decided to pursue a career as a composer. He had immediate success with the concert work Beckus the Dandipratt and shortly thereafter was approached by a friend to score his first film, a documentary entitled Avalanche Patrol (1947). He would branch out into feature-film scores the following year with Badger’s Green. In films, Arnold was to find composing to rigid deadlines and various orchestral ensembles helpful, and this was to pay dividends in the composition and performances of his own concert works.
Arnold’s typical approach toward scoring was one of enriching a given scene and not to lessen its impact by “wallpapering” the film with needless music. He felt that No Highway in the Sky (1951) needed only main and end title music and accordingly wrote only for those segments. This resulted in the most scantily scored of Arnold’s films: one minute and fifteen seconds of music. The Bridge on the River Kwai had a running length of approximately 161 minutes, yet its scoring is sparse with only 34 minutes of music. Arnold favoured the often-quoted dictum, “Less is more.”
He also carefully researched his film assignments that contained ethnic music, travelling to the island of Grenada to investigate Afro-Caribbean music for Island in the Sun (1957). This visit was also to assist him later in the year with his concert work, the Commonwealth Christmas Overture; surely, the only Christmas music that includes parts for marimba and steel guitar. It was also owing to his effort that the Indian national anthem was orchestrated and therefore he was ideally suited to compose the music for Nine Hours to Rama (1962), a film on the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Arnold went to India and investigated the necessary instruments and this added to the authenticity in his score.
Dorothy Morris, Arnold’s music secretary during the 1950s, commented on his relationship with film musicians: “I worked for many years in the music department of the Rank organization, and no one worked as well with the musicians as he. They adored Malcolm [and] he respected them. I have seen many conductors attempt to match the music to the film, but Malcolm was a genius at this. It appeared to come instinctively to him. I can remember that during our breaks, the musicians would sit in the canteen and talk about how extraordinary his music was. You didn’t often hear that from the musicians.”
“Some of them [musicians] might have a pint with their lunch, but there was a famous Czech harpist whom Malcolm used quite frequently, [and] she would never take a drink. She wanted a clear head and didn’t want it to affect her playing on the recording; the music was simply too good to spoil. That was very much the sort of loyalty Malcolm inspired. My years working for him were among my happiest,” recalled Morris.
A younger composer who sought out Arnold for counsel was Howard Blake. In due course, Blake would compose the music for The Duelists and The Snowman among many others. Blake commented:
Another distinguished colleague, John Scott, himself the composer of many film scores (among them Antony and Cleopatra and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes), originally began his career as a flautist. Scott said:
After working on David Lean’s The Sound Barrier (1951) and Hobson’s Choice (1954), Arnold was once again requested for the director’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)—he would be dubbed by some as “Master of the Lean’s Music.” Avoiding jingoistic, patriotic cliché, Arnold’s music depicts horrid images of the British prisoners of war and the harshness of the Burmese jungle. Arnold utilized Kenneth J. Alford’s Colonel Bogey march (and as a counterpoint, added his own River Kwai March), representing the character of Colonel Nicholson and his outmoded sense of the Queensbury rules of war. Arnold’s use of Colonel Bogey supplied Alford’s widow with a handsome windfall and gave the march a new lease on life. Not only did Colonel Bogey become a surprise hit tune, but Arnold’s own River Kwai March was to be recorded numerous times. This score brought him an Academy Award, and his name was now recognized in Hollywood.
“After River Kwai, I was asked to score every war film ever made” recalled Arnold. Despite being requested for major film productions, Arnold frequently turned them down.
“Some I accepted, but most I declined.” These included The Vikings (scored by Mario Nascimbene and an uncredited Gerard Schurmann), Lawrence of Arabia (Maurice Jarre) and later, The Blue Max (Jerry Goldsmith) and The Rainbow (Carl Davis).
After a period of only ten years in the world of film, Arnold found himself in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose his film assignments. Unlike most American film composers, Arnold had the advantage of being a concert composer and never had to rely on films as his sole source of income. American film composer Alfred Newman suggested to him that he might consider a move to Hollywood, but Arnold was happy with the fine musicians and orchestras in Britain and thus was content to remain where he was. This of course did not prohibit Arnold from accepting and working on American films shot overseas, of which the two scores on this album are examples.
In 1958 Arnold was to score three large productions, all of them originating from Hollywood: The Key, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness and The Roots of Heaven.
The Roots of Heaven: The Film
The Roots of Heaven was based on a novel by French diplomat and writer Romain Gary (1914–1980) about one man’s crusade to save African elephants from extinction. Morel, a Nazi prison camp survivor, is disillusioned with man’s inhumanity to man and becomes obsessed with protecting the great beasts. Morel tries to have a proclamation signed prohibiting elephant hunting, but he is ridiculed and soon makes his crusade personal by hunting the hunters. The theme of animal preservation was ahead of its time and the plot centering on animal extinction is quite contemporary.
Upon reading the novel, director John Huston wanted to buy the rights to the book, however producer Darryl F. Zanuck was ahead of him and had purchased them. Huston and Zanuck eventually agreed to work together and Zanuck then engaged Gary to write the original screenplay. Later, Zanuck would retain the travel writer and Huston friend Patrick Leigh-Fermor to add adventure touches to the story.
The assembled cast was an accomplished one. Zanuck had wanted William Holden as Morel, however, he was occupied with another film and Trevor Howard was ultimately signed in his stead. Although he received top billing, Errol Flynn was in fact only a supporting player. Perhaps with irony Huston cast Flynn as the drunken ex-British officer, Forsythe, who assists Morel. French singer-actress Juliette Gréco—romantically involved with Zanuck at this time—was given the rôle of Morel’s erstwhile love interest, Minna, and the cast was completed with supporting rôles by Orson Welles, Eddie Albert, Friedrich Ledebur and Paul Lukas. Additional character rôles were filled by such stalwarts as Herbert Lom, Gregoire Aslan and Francis De Wolff.
With the backing of a $4,500,000 budget from 20th Century-Fox, principal photography under cinematographer Oswald Morris, was set for January 1958 in French Equatorial Africa (in the areas now known as Chad and Central African Republic). In Leonard Mosley’s, Zanuck: Hollywood’s Last Tycoon, when Trevor Howard discovered that insipidly hot central Africa was to be the locale for shooting, he stated, “My God, Zanuck must be off his rocker.” He was not far off his mark. Even by the standards of the locals, French Equatorial Africa was thought to be an oppressively inhospitable environment. What was to give the film its element of realism and authenticity was also to be its worst enemy, the climate. As cast and crew were to discover, location photography could be a double-edged sword.
Nearly every cast and crew member came down with one type of climate related illness or another: malaria, dysentery, sunstroke and snake bites. The oppressive heat even caused mental break-downs and this affected many of the ensemble including Eddie Albert. “He just went cuckoo. He went climbing a hill in the midday sun and came back thinking he could deal with witch doctors. He couldn’t walk, he went totally nuts,” related a crew member in Lawrence Grobel’s The Hustons. “Then we had an American cameraman who disappeared. The last time any of us saw him he was stark naked. And then there was a local Frenchman who became totally screaming mad and had to be shipped out [to a Paris hospital] in a straitjacket.” Huston himself added, “People started dropping right and left. I remember looking around for my first assistant and finding him on the ground. I then looked around for my second assistant and found him on the ground, too.”
Juliette Gréco became ill with a blood disorder and Friedrich Ledebur was infected with a serious eye ailment due to the unforgiving climate. Orson Welles avoided the fate of his co-stars, and appeared in the film only briefly, and free of charge; he was indebted to Zanuck for the financing of his screen production of Othello. His one location scene was apparently shot in the forest of Fontainebleau outside Paris, which doubled for the jungles of Africa. By the time filming was completed, hundreds of cases of illness were catalogued and delayed the shooting schedule headquartered in the outpost of Fort Archambault (and later Bangui). The Fox press department dubbed the town “Zanuckville”, but as the calamities of the filming progressed, other place names, emerged. In Zanuck: Hollywood’s Last Tycoon, Trevor Howard referred to it as “Fort Despair” while Huston perhaps described it more accurately as “the asshole of the world.” “We spent six months under the worst conditions perhaps any picture has ever been shot, except maybe in combat,” recited Huston. An assistant to Huston added, “The climate was appalling. It was the toughest movie I ever worked on in my life—and I spent two years on Lawrence of Arabia, which couldn’t touch what we went through on The Roots of Heaven.” Juilette Gréco, among others, called the film-making experience “The Roots of Hell.”
Filming had to begin early in the morning and wrap by noon as temperatures reached over the 120 degree mark. Solace was liberally taken in the form of alcoholic beverages. Huston, Zanuck, Flynn and Howard, none known for their shyness of alcohol, soon found that this was one method to fight off infection, illness and heat. Another Zanuck biographer, Mel Gussow, writes in his Don’t Say Yes Until I Finish Talking, that alcohol quantities were taken in such vast amounts that Zanuck himself quipped, “I think the liquor consumed making that picture has never been equalled in the history of the cinema.” Juliette Gréco recalled, “I had to wake up early in the morning to have my make-up applied and then I would see Errol standing outside, always drinking a large glass of grapefruit juice. He drank a lot of this and one day I asked him why. He smiled and handed me the glass. It was 1/4 grapefruit juice and 3/4 vodka.” Even the normally solid Howard, who could hold his drink with the best of them, was finding himself drinking more than usual, only to become so intoxicated that one day he accosted Zanuck and called him a “bitch.” For Flynn, this was to be his penultimate film (his last was to be the lamentable Cuban Rebel Girls), for his years of hard drinking and drug-taking were taking their toll.
With tribulations such as these, it came as a surprise that filming managed to progress at all. However, even with these adversities the major principals of the cast got on well. Gréco, being the only female member, had to rely on her male co-stars for camaraderie and perseverance. In conversation with this writer, she fondly remembered Trevor Howard. “He was a great actor. He was very supportive of me… I loved him very much.” She also found kinship with Flynn and discovered his sense of humour. While Flynn’s alcohol and drug consumption did not usually contribute to the film’s delays, occasionally his front teeth did. Gréco continued,”When he did not want to shoot a scene so early in the morning, he would take out his [capped] front tooth and say to Huston that he had lost it and could not shoot the scene.” With the element of time, the film’s trials appeared to have subsided. “After so many years, you don’t remember the bad moments, only the good ones,” she added.
After shooting with the principals, Huston travelled to a remote elephant preserve and shot footage of the herds in their natural habitat. After these scenes were completed, the cast and crew repaired to France prior to the onset of the June rains. Photography concluded with the interior scenes at the Studios de Boulogne, outside Paris.
Huston himself had some misgivings on the finalized script (but not Zanuck, who thought quite highly of it), feeling that the original story contained a strong philosophical and moral element, but that Leigh-Fermor’s treatment removed much of this and ended with it becoming an adventure story. If Huston had doubts about the worthiness of the script, so did the original writer Romain Gary, who had been assured by Zanuck that his script would not be altered. He was very unhappy with the finalized version and accused Zanuck of having “murdered” his story. After the film’s release, Huston accepted responsibility for its unevenness and he too admitted that the nobility of Gary’s original novel had been lost in the picture.
While some reviewers deemed the picture “well-made” and “spiritually exuberant,” many more thought it “unconvincing” and Variety termed it “a disappointment,” although it had praise for the talents of Howard and the supporting cast and crew.
The Roots of Heaven: The Music
After completing Carol Reed’s The Key earlier in the year, Arnold was approached to score Zanuck’s production of The Roots of Heaven (Arnold had scored Zanuck’s financially successful Island in the Sun the previous year). While Huston was finishing photography at the Studios de Boulogne, Arnold flew over to Paris to confer on the music scoring. “I went to see him in Paris, but met only briefly with him. Huston was a delightful man and I thought he was one of the greatest directors that ever was. He told me the editing would soon be completed and I could start on the picture and that he was off to America. “Go to it kid,” were his words to me. He didn’t provide me with much in the way of suggestions on what he wanted, so, fortunately, I was left to my own devices.”
Arnold completed the score in early August and it was recorded in London over a two day period (18 and 19 August 1958). While Huston did not specify to Arnold what he wanted musically, Zanuck was more forthcoming. His suggestions included an overture that was to be written especially for its New York première. “Zanuck said it was a big picture and that he wanted some big themes in it,” Arnold recalled. After recording the music, the film print was shipped to Fox where, upon arrival, Zanuck felt that the film needed additional music. Fox’s resident music director Alfred Newman took over this assignment and, using Arnold’s material, scored four additional cues. After the new material was arranged, Newman sent the score to Arnold for his approval, whereupon he readily gave his consent. The new music was then quickly recorded at Fox in order to make the film’s première in New York City.
Juliette Gréco was accompanied to Africa by a group of friends from her chanteuse career, including Henri Patterson, her pianist. While on location Patterson recorded on tape native folk-songs—one of which would become the genesis for Arnold’s Elephant theme—and also wrote a short melody (in effect, only a motif) for the character of Minna. As Patterson ’s talents were as a pianist, Arnold orchestrated and arranged Minna’s theme and thus it bears his unmistakable imprint. Zanuck felt the tune had “hit” potential and thereby enlisted the services of lyricist Ned Washington to pen words to it. However, the song was not used in the finished production. Only later did pop singer Johnny Nash (of I Can See Clearly Now fame) cover this song on a 45 record.
 Main Title
 Fort Lamy (first recording)
 The Great Elephants (first recording)
 Morel’s Retribution
 Morel’s Camp
 Minna and St. Denis
 Minna and Major Forsythe (first recording)
 The Jungle Clearing
 The Elephant Herd
 Minna’s Dream
 The Ivory Poachers
 The Elephant Hunt
 Morel’s Capture
 At the Well
 The Sand Storm
 Return to Biondi
 Return to Biondi – Part 2
 Minna’s Goodbye
 Finale and End Titles
Intervening Years: 1959–1969
While The Roots of Heaven may have had an uneven reception, Arnold’s last assignment for 1958 did not; The Inn of the Sixth Happiness was not only a critical and financial success, but also gave Arnold the opportunity to compose one of his finest scores, which earned him an Ivor Novello award for best film music.
Throughout the next decade, Arnold would continue to write music for some of the cinema’s most gifted directors. In 1960, Ronald Neame chose him to score Tunes of Glory, a film that showcased the talents of John Mills and Alec Guinness. Arnold’s score was peppered with both original and Scottish tunes, appropriate for a film whose subject matter was about life in a Scottish army barracks. After working with the team of Richard Attenborough and Bryan Forbes on The Angry Silence (1960), Arnold returned to write the music for their film Whistle Down the Wind in 1961. The story concerned an escaped murderer (Alan Bates) being hidden away by a group of unsuspecting children (including Hayley Mills) and Arnold’s main theme contained a distinct musical touch: the whistling voice of producer Richard Attenborough.
The Chalk Garden (1963) paired Arnold once again with director Ronald Neame, and he delivered yet another tune that was to be exploited to its fullest by adult pop artists (the “Madrigal” theme was recorded by singer Andy Williams, among many others). In 1966, The Heroes of Telemark, a Kirk Douglas vehicle helmed by Anthony Mann, provided Arnold with another opportunity to write a military score. And still later in the year, he would work on John Mills’ Sky West and Crooked, a filmed novelisation of his wife’s (Mary Hayley Bell) book about an orphaned girl (played by Hayley Mills). Arnold’s main theme consisted of a dream-like melody that was suggestive of the Andantino dance of his recently completed set of Four Cornish Dances.
By the mid 1960s, whilst film and concert hall commissions continued to be received, Arnold was to choose less cinematic assignments. He had recently remarried and had moved to Cornwall, away from the centre of the British film industry. He also wished to devote more time to writing concert works, as well as conducting Britain’s orchestras. He conducted the première of his Sixth Symphony in November of 1968. In the following summer, Arnold completed scoring on what was to be his penultimate film, The Reckoning. He thought well-enough of one its themes, an Irish-like tune, that he would later incorporate it into his Eighth Symphony. By the close of the decade, when he was not conducting Aaron Copland, Dvořák and Mozart, he found himself in the unique position of performing in front of a sell-out crowd of “flower children” during a first-of-its-kind concert in 1969.
Jon Lord of the rock group Deep Purple approached Arnold and asked him to assist with the orchestration as well as to conduct Lord’s new composition Concerto for Pop Group and Orchestra, a work combining the talents of a pop band with a classically trained orchestra. Whilst many a conductor may have been repelled by the very thought of working with a pop group, Arnold relished the possibilities. During a rehearsal with Deep Purple, Arnold, wearing a wide grin on his face, asked Lord, “What does it feel like to play with us squares?”
At the Royal Albert Hall on 24 September, 1969, with a standing-room-only crowd of mostly young, pop music fans (in addition, even Sir William Walton was in attendance), Deep Purple performed their work alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Arnold in an enthusiastic concert accompanied by his Sixth Symphony. The performance was an enormous success, being televised (later issued on video) and recorded for LP.
After this event, Arnold was to return home to Cornwall to begin writing for a new assignment. He had recently been asked to score another American produced film shot in England. The film was to be based on a classic novel and was a subject close to his own heart. It was also to be his last film score.
David Copperfield: The Film
With the success of their television film Heidi (1968), the American film company Omnibus, headed by producer Frederick Brogger and his partner, actor James Franciscus, had chosen as their next topic for television adaptation, Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. Brogger had always been interested in the novel and with the recent success of Oliver! (1968), he felt the time was right for a new version. Also returning from Heidi would be Oscar-winning Delbert Mann, known for directing such classics as Marty (1953) and Separate Tables (1960), and he also found the project intriguing and agreed with Brogger that if the film was to be convincing they would have to shoot in England with a cast of British actors.
The film needed considerable financial backing and more than was usual for a TV film. Brogger arranged a deal: 20th Century-Fox would release the film in cinemas around the globe, while in the U.S., the television network NBC was to have the broadcast rights. Fiscal arrangements completed, the production team approached British screenwriter Jack Pulman to co-write the script with Brogger. Pulman was ideally suited, as he had already adapted numerous BBC television serials of classic novels, including Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady (1968), and later continued to work for Omnibus writing their screenplays for Jane Eyre (1970) and Kidnapped (1971).
With an 800 page novel to contend with and mindful of NBC’s concern over length (the film would have to fit into a two-hour time-slot), Brogger and Pulman decided to tell the story with David relating his life in flashbacks. In this fashion, they would be able to condense the novel into a manageable length and highlight the plot’s most dramatic scenes without losing the spirit of Dickens’s story.
The narrative begins with David returning to Yarmouth from abroad, and there he reflects (in flashbacks) upon the misfortunes that had befallen him. He recalls his marriage to young Dora and his friendships with Agnes, Emily, Mr Micawber and Steerforth. However, David is overwhelmed with the feeling of responsibility for their fates: the death of Dora, the drowning of Steerforth, Agnes’s feelings of unrequited love for him and the loss of Emily to the brothels of London.
Mann would have what he described as a “dream cast” by gathering together one of the greatest casts for a television film: Ralph Richardson, Wendy Hiller, Michael Redgrave, Edith Evans, Laurence Olivier, Emlyn Williams, Richard Attenborough, Cyril Cusack, Ron Moody, James Donald, Anna Massey, as well as the ever-reliable character actors Megs Jenkins and James Hayter. The younger cast members were to include Susan Hampshire, Pamela Franklin, Sinead Cusack, Corin Redgrave, Robin Phillips as the adult David and Alastair Mackenzie as young Davy. In Copperfield ’70 a filmatic diary by George Curry, Mann stated, “Working with such a group of professionals was the experience of a lifetime for me.”
Unlike The Roots of Heaven, production on David Copperfield ran almost faultlessly. Photography commenced in April 1969 with location shooting by cinematographer Mike Hodges on the coast of Southwold in Suffolk. Unfortunately, many of the early scenes had to be reshot when it was discovered that imperfect chemicals had damaged the film in developing. Apart from Suffolk, the location shooting consisted of the cliffs of Dover and London’s run-down St Katherine Docks, which were used for the Micawbers’ and Peggottys’ emigration scene. The noted costume designer Anthony Mendleson created the proper nineteenth-century clothing and set-designer Vetchinsky created the authentic Victorian sets at Pinewood.
The film was premiered in London in January 1970, while in America it was televised on NBC on 15 March 1970. Many British critics took umbrage that an American company had the effrontery to film something as quintessentially English as Dickens. With the repeated use of flashback scenes, many critics felt it interrupted the flow of the story and found it difficult to follow. The New York Post called it a “Disappointing new dramatization.” However, not all critics agreed: “It was perfect Copperfield and perfect Dickens,” said the Dallas Times-Herald. Criticism aside, Mann received a nomination for the Directors Guild Award. “David Copperfield remains a high point for me and the memory of working with that superb cast is a very special one.”
David Copperfield: The Music
In August 1969, while working with Deep Purple, Arnold was approached by producers Brogger and Franciscus to score David Copperfield when John Williams, who had been contracted for the film (he had scored Heidi for them), was busy with other commitments. Arnold was an apt choice; his ability to compose quality and memorable scores was known to them. For Arnold, the occasion to work on a film production of Dickens’s famous novel was doubly opportune; he himself thought Dickens was England’s finest writer and David Copperfield was in particular among his favourite novels. In September, Arnold and Mann spotted the film together at Pinewood. In Copperfield ’70, Arnold told Mann, that his score would contain “No gimmicks, no pastiche of the early nineteenth century.” Mann respected Arnold’s integrity and he returned to his home in Cornwall to begin the composition.
As this was to be his final film score, Arnold gave David Copperfield one of his strongest efforts, creating once again memorable themes for both the principal and secondary characters. Years later when asked about his work on David Copperfield, Arnold recalled modestly—and with a hint of friendly sarcasm—“[it] has some good stuff in it.” He completed the score in late October 1969 and was soon off on a conducting engagement in the north of England before leaving for London, where he was to record the music at Anvil studios in early November.
Director Delbert Mann has this to say on Arnold’s involvement on David Copperfield:
 Main Title
 Return to Yarmouth
 Visit to Aunt Betsey and Davy Loves Emily
 Agnes’s Arrival and Mother’s Funeral
 Mr Micawber (first recording)
 Memories of Dora and Steerforth
 Love for Dora
 Mr Micawber Exposes Heep
 Dora’s Declaration (first recording)
 Agnes Leaves David
 In Search of Emily (first recording)
 Emigration to Australia (first recording)
 David’s Resolution and Finale
Post David Copperfield
Having completed David Copperfield, Arnold withdrew from the field of film scoring, a career that had served him so well. Thus, his profession as a film composer lasted but 21 years and he left this arena at the comparably young age of 48. The constraints and tight scheduling of film scores that were at one time a catalyst for him had now become a strain. This and the ever-present trend for overly commercial “top 40” songs in films disturbed him. Whilst he enjoyed pop music, he disliked the prospects of having a song written for a film simply to sell record singles. He deemed himself a composer first and foremost; his film scoring was but a part of his compositional output. “I write music that I myself would like to hear” was his credo, whether it be for film or the concert hall.
He was to leave the seclusion of Cornwall for a new life in Dublin in the early 1970s, where he was to compose some of his most inspiring works: the Clarinet Concerto No. 2 (written for Benny Goodman), the String Quartet No. 2 and his most powerful orchestral statement, the dark and apocalyptic Seventh Symphony. When completed, the Seventh Symphony was a fierce tour-de-force, and it was to reflect the emotional turmoil that Arnold was experiencing at that time—acute depression and the failure of his second marriage. As the 1970s came to a close, he returned to England. With his personal life in trouble, his concert music output slowed considerably and he entered a long period of emotional and physical ill-health. By the mid 1980s his life was to return to more tranquil waters and eventually he moved to a village in Norfolk, where he was based until his death in 2006.
Although Sir Malcolm retired from composition in 1991, his long and active career encompassed the writing of not only over 125 feature, documentary and TV scores, but the composition of nine symphonies, eighteen concertos and numerous ballets and choral works. He was awarded a KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in January 1993. Well loved by his fellow composers and musicians, his music has seen a re-emergence over the last two decades with performances and new recordings of his works.
James Cox (January 2001)
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