On This Day… September 27

Today we look at a lesser known Brittish composer, who was titled the “Father of modern British Music” and “the English Debussy.” Cyril Scott, born on September 27th, 1879 was a composer, writer and poet.

Born in Oxton, in Northern England, he showed talent at music from an early age and was sent to study at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, Germany at age 12. His first symphony was performed in 1900. Cyril Scott wrote a large number of piano works, but also wrote 4 symphonies, 3 operas, 4 oratorios, 6 concertos (2 for piano, and one each for violin, cello, oboe, and harpsichord), several overtures, and tone poems, chamber music and songs. He composed up until the last three weeks of his life, dying in 1970 at the age of 91. Scott was a romantic and an impressionist, with his harmonic treatment and many of his piano works dealing with exoticism. His music was admired by Debussy, Goossens, Grainger, Richard Strauss and Stravinsky

Aside from music, Scott was also a writer and poet, with many of his works dealing with The Occult and with Health foods [Ben: What an odd combination]. He described his beliefs as a blend of science, philosophy and religion.

Not a well known composer, his music appears to be making a return, with ABC Classics Eloquence label having recorded all his piano works in 1991 with pianist, Dennis Henning, and record label Chandros planning to record all of his orchestral works, having released three cd’s so far.

Today I’m leaving you with a lovely recording of one of my favourite violinists. Fritz Kreisler, one of the most famous violinists of his day, was noted for his sweet tone and expressive phrasing. Here we have a recording by Victor made on April 24th, 1922 with an unnamed pianist of Cyril Scott’s Lotus Land, Op. 47, No. 1.

I hope you enjoyed that. Let me know what you think of this piece, or of any other works by Cyril Scott that you’ve heard.

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