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“The music of Robert Burns Arnot is tonal (building on tradition, as the booklet notes put it). He paints in bold colors, and orchestrates with a keen ear. The “orchestral fairy-tale” Wild Midnight Ride puts the listener in the place of a rider on a long and difficult climb, terrorized by spirits of the night rising from a village of the dead. There is a detailed program attached to the piece, which identifies the various adventures of the rider, and how he meets and is empowered by (and is eventually under the protection of) the Great Spirit. The Czech Studio Orchestra give their all in this vivid music … The Double Concerto is scored for piccolo trumpet and violin with orchestra and is cast in two parts, with the second part holding slow movement and finale (Andante and Rondo). The composer intends the concerto to stand in the tradition of Haydn, and indeed it has a sense of ease of composition about it, as if it just flowed from Arnot’s pen. The first movement is remarkably happy, with the trumpet to the fore. There is indeed a sense of contest, of “duel” between the soloists, even in the Andante, when the soloists toss phrases from one to another, as if to challenge each other. I am not aware of many concertos for trumpet and violin … Walter Hofbauer has a ringing, clarion tone that is heard at its finest later in the piece; Roman Patočka is a valiant co-soloist, although inevitably the ear gravitates around the bright sound of the trumpet. A Double Concerto well worth hearing. The First Symphony came out of detailed study of the processes of Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony. The work remains all-Arnot, though, with grand gestures clearly coming from a generous heart. The first movement is entitled “Sonata” and is a mini-sonata form orchestral movement of only three and a half minutes’ duration. … The Andante and Variations is even shorter (two and a half minutes) and features a prominent part for trumpet again (Arnot is himself a trumpet player). One can perhaps hear a Beethovenian influence in this central movement (perhaps the Allegretto from the Seventh Symphony lies behind its sense of onward tread), and the Czech players are absolutely brilliant in the rhythmic accuracy of their execution. The Minuet is graceful, its wind-garlanded Trio playful before the longest movement (at four minutes) gets underway, a Rando whose scoring in many ways refers back to the orchestral fairy tale that began the disc. There is heft here, too, from the brass …. This is an entertaining release. The program is well planned, and the Czech orchestra is in fine form.”

Colin Clarke, Fanfare