Structure-wise its a brilliantly narrative piece which follows the Burns poem closely. Indeed I would say it is one of the most concisely and skillfully conceived 'descriptions in music' of a literary work I know. Is there a more entertaining trombone solo in the repertoire and when the same instrument cries "weel done Cutty Sark" [marked in the score by Arnold] it is a moment of pure musical theatre. For sure it is light-hearted and deliberately cartoonish but why should music always obey more slavish rules.
Arnold was a genius for sure - and this is a prime example of his considerable Art. The case for the defence rests m'lud.
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