First published in 2003. 'All of my music is biographical' declared Sir Malcolm Arnold in an interview in 1991. Arnold's turbulent life has permeated his music to a greater degree than probably any other British composer as Paul Jackson reveals in this illuminating account. Interweaving biographical details with close analyses of Arnold's major works, particularly the nine symphonies, and drawing on sketch materials never previously examined, Jackson provides fascinating insights into Arnold's compositional process, and the ideas informing works such as the John Field Fantasy and the 7th Symphony. Extensive interviews with Arnold himself as well as with his family, friends and colleagues add further perspectives on his relationships with fellow composers and musicians, publishers, critics and family. A combination of joie de vivre and periods of depression and personal tragedy, Arnold's life has mirrored his music in its combination of seemingly disparate elements that make a compelling whole.

chapter Chapter One|15 pages


‘I didn’t want to be called Fatty’

chapter Chapter Two|23 pages


‘I just sat in the room and cried’

chapter Chapter Three|15 pages

Films, 1947–69

‘Solving jigsaw puzzles’

chapter Chapter Four|38 pages


‘Hats off, gentlemen!’

chapter Chapter Five|29 pages


‘But I’m beastly to everyone!’

chapter Chapter Six|24 pages


‘More than life itself’

chapter Chapter Seven|34 pages


‘Drinking the Liffey dry’

chapter Chapter Eight|20 pages


‘My friends forsake me’

chapter Chapter Nine|16 pages


‘The grand, grand old man’