Malcolm Arnold learnt his craft from the inside, serving as principal trumpet of the London Philharmonic Orchestra before devoting himself full time to composition. His energy and adaptability were phenomenal – numerous orchestral, chamber, instrumental, choral and ballet scores sit happily alongside his striking film music (The Bridge over the River Kwai, Whistle down the Wind, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness – the list goes on). If Arnold's most lasting legacy may well prove to be his magnificent cycle of symphonies, it would be foolish to ignore his four irresistible sets of orchestral dances (English, Scottish, Cornish and Irish). What often sound like folk tunes are, in fact, Arnold's own, and the scoring is spectacular. The composer's powerfully evocative and uniquely flolicsome performances with his 'old' orchestra simply demand to to be experienced, and the Lyrita engineering is the top drawer.