Cyril Scott


Cyril Scott

Cyril Meir Scott (27 September 1879 – 31 December 1970) was an English composer, writer, and poet.


Contents

Biography

Scott was born in Oxton, England to a shipper and scholar of Greek and Hebrew, and Mary Scott (née Griffiths), an amateur pianist. He showed a talent for music from an early age and was sent to the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, Germany to study piano in 1892 at age 12. He Studied with Iwan Knorr and belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in the late 1890s. His first symphony was performed nine years later.

In 1902 he met the pianist Evelyn Suart, with whom he had a long artistic association. She championed his music, premiering many of his works, and introducing him to his publisher, Elkin, with whom he remained for the rest of his life. Evelyn Suart was also a Christian Scientist, and it was through her that Scott became interested in metaphysics.[1][2] Scott dedicated his Scherzo, Op. 25 to Evelyn Suart. (Her daughter Diana Gould was a noted ballerina and the second wife of Yehudi Menuhin.)[2][3]

In 1909 he recorded six of his own works for Welte-Mignon.

Scott married Rose L. Allatini in May 1921. They had two children: Vivien Mary Scott (born 1923) and Desmond Cyril Scott (born 1926). He separated from Rose following World War II. In 1943, he met Marjorie Hartston, who remained his companion until his death.

He composed up until the last three weeks of his life, dying at the age of 91. By the time of his death Scott was little regarded. Now his work is coming strongly back into favour. His Second Symphony was premiered by Sir Henry J. Wood at a 1903 Prom Concert and was extremely well received, although it inexplicably did not receive subsequent performances.[1]

Music

Scott was romanticist with some impressionist qualities. His harmonic treatments and piano works depict the exotic.

As a composer, Scott wrote around four hundred works, including four symphonies, four operas, two piano concertos, four oratorios, four concertos (for violin, cello, oboe and harpsichord) and several overtures (Nativity Hymn (1913), Mystic Ode (1932), Ode to Great Men (1936), and Hymn of Unity (1947), as well as tone poems, chamber music and songs. Between 1903 and 1914 Scott wrote more works for the piano than any other composer with the exception of Scriabin. He was called the "Father of modern British music" by Eugene Goossens, and was also admired by Debussy, Percy Grainger, Sorabji, Richard Strauss and Stravinsky. He was sometimes referred to as "the English Debussy".

Symphonies

  • 1st Symphony - performed in Darmstadt in 1900
  • 2nd Symphony - performed in London in 1903
  • 3rd Symphony, The Muses - performed in Manchester in 2003
  • 4th Symphony - performed in Manchester in 2005

Recordings

The record label Chandos is planning to record all Scott's major orchestral compositions. So far, they have released three CD's: The first volume containing the tone poem Neptune (1935), Symphony No. 3 The Muses (1939) and the second piano concerto (1958). The second volume containing the tone poem "Early One Morning" (1931) , Symphony No. 4 (1952) and the first piano concerto (1914). The third volume containing the violin concerto, "Festival Overture", "Aubade" and "Three Symphonic Dances".

Cameo Classics has made the premiere recording of Cyril Scott's Harpsichord Concerto. The soloist was Michael Laus, who conducted the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra from the keyboard in 2011. It joins works for orchestra and soloist by other British composers, Maurice Blower (Horn Concerto), F.S.Kelly (Flute Serenade), Gaze Cooper (Concertino for Oboe and Strings) and Holbrooke's Ballet of Pierrot and Pierrette (CC9032CD).

Some of Scott's works for piano were recorded for the ABC Classics Eloquence label by the Australian pianist Dennis Hennig in 1991. He intended to record the complete piano works, but died before that project was finished.

Other works

In 2001, a piece thought for many decades to be lost, the Sonatina for guitar (1927), was discovered by Angelo Gilardino in the archives of Andrés Segovia, for whom the piece was originally written. It has since been recorded by the German guitarist Tilman Hoppstock, among others. His Pastoral and Reel for cello and piano was recorded by Julian Lloyd Webber and John Lenehan for Philips Classics in 1994. His Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra (1937) has recently been reconstructed by Jory Vinikour and will be given its first hearing since its premiere by the Orion Chamber Orchestra, Toby Purser conducting, at St. John's, Smith Square with Jory Vinikour as soloist in September 2008.

Literature

In addition to his work as a composer and performer, Scott wrote poetry and prose. He was highly interested in the occult and in health foods. He described his beliefs as a blend of science, philosophy, and religion.

Prose

  • 1920 The Initiate: Some Impressions of a Great Soul (Anon.)
  • 1920 The Adept of Galilee - A Story and an Argument (Anon.)
  • 1924 Autobiography: My Years of Indiscretion
  • 1927 The Initiate in the New World (Anon.)
  • 1928 The Art of Making a Perfect Husband
  • 1930 Childishness: A Study in Occult Conduct
  • 1932 The Initiate in the Dark Cycle (Anon.)
  • 1933 Vision of the Nazarene (Anon.)
  • 1933 Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages
  • 1935 Outline of Modern Occultism
  • 1936 The Greater Awareness
  • 1938 Doctors, Disease and Health
  • 1939 Man is my Theme
  • 1939 the Ghost of a Smile
  • 1939 Victory over Cancer
  • 1940 Health, Diet and Commonsense
  • 1942 The Christian Paradox
  • 1946 Crude Black Molasses
  • 1946 Medicine, Rational and Irrational
  • 1948 Cider Vinegar
  • 1952 Die Tragoedie Stefan George
  • 1953 Man the Unruly Child
  • 1953 Simpler and Safer Remedies for Grievous Ills
  • 1955 Sleeplessness: Its Prevention and Cure by Harmless Methods
  • 1956 Constipation and Commonsense
  • 1969 Autobiography: Bone of Contention

Poetry

  • 190? The Shadows of Silence and the Songs of Yesterday
  • 1907 The Grave of Eros and the Book of Mournful Melodies
  • 1909 Translation: The Flowers of Evil (Charles Baudelaire)
  • 1910 Translation: Poems of Stefan George (Selections from his Works)
  • 1910 The Voice of the Ancient
  • 1912 The Vales of Unity
  • 1915 The Celestial Aftermath: A Springtime of the Heart and Faraway Songs
  • 1943 The Poems of a Musician

References

  1. ^ a b Arthur Eaglefield Hull. Cyril Scott, Composer, Poet and Philosopher ("Library of Music and Musicians", London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1919).
  2. ^ a b Leslie De’Ath, Cyril Scott as Composer, Pianist and Author
  3. ^ Music: Cyril Scott

External links


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