"I have never understood why the Solum flute concertos were disdained and why within two years Adeney was in the studio remaking the flute concertos. The original Dilkes/Solum LP has survived only in relation to the two Sinfoniettas which found their way onto EMI CLASSICS CDZ 5 74780 2 review. Was there something wrong with those Solum sessions? Did the composer object? Were there contractual problems? Who knows?"
Perhaps I can throw some light on this mystery. In early 1980, when I was a young flute student, I discovered the music of Malcolm Arnold thanks to the John Solum/Neville Dilkes recording of the 2 flute concertos. I was in awe!! Having come across an address for Malcolm Arnold, I wrote to the composer to express my admiration for his music, not really expecting a reply. However some time later, a handwritten letter arrived from Arnold, who was then living in a London Hotel (this was during one of the dark periods of his career). He thanked me for my compliments, but was not particularly happy that I had only heard the Solum disc; he told me that he had tried to get EMI "to pulp" the recording. He did not give specific reasons for disliking Solum's performance, but I imagine that he regarded the two concertos almost as Richard Adeney's private property, both works having been specifically composed for his good friend. As things turned out, the composer must have eventually managed to supress any further pressings of the Solum recording and prevent its reissue on CD. In this moment, I cannot put my hands on the letter, but I have kept it all these years; if you are interested, I can dig it out and give you the date, name of the hotel etc.
Thank you for taking part in the MusicWeb International Forum.
Len Mullenger - Founder of MusicWeb