Guitar Concerto Opus 67 was commissioned by Julian Bream who gave the first performance in Aldeburgh with the Melos Ensemble. It is an overt tribute to Jazz and especially to Django Reinhardt. This is particularly evident in the long slow movement which someone once described as a script for a Hitchcock thriller.
The most remarkable feature of Arnold’s Guitar Concerto is that the composer cleverly eschewed all clichés in his guitar writing, be they Spanish or Jazz, and that he approached his task in his own inimitable way. The scoring for small forces is a miracle of economy, clarity and efficiency. Malcolm Arnold at his best and at his most inventive, this wonderfully crafted piece has become a favourite.