The Culture Magazine

Perhaps best known for film scores like The Bridge on the River Kwai, it took Sir Malcolm Arnold until well into his fifties to write a work for chorus and orchestra. Composed in 1976, The Return of Odysseus has its premiere recording with The City of Glasgow Chorus and the orchestra of Scottish Opera. Compressing the ancient Greek epic into half an hour, writer Patric Dickinson gives Arnold the means to create a purposeful note-to-a-word narrative flow, carried by his typically vivid scoring. Conductor Graham Taylor points up the detail, his feel for colour and texture as engaging in Milhaud’s Suite Française and Vaughan Williams’s Toward the Unknown Region. (CD OF THE MONTH)

—Thomas Hall