SCOTT; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Songs of Quest and Inspiration

Dutch examination of the mostly pre-war Cyril Scott

Author: 
Jeremy Dibble

Scott; Vaughan Williams Songs of Quest and Inspiration

  • Song of London
  • Blackbird's Song
  • Sundown
  • To-Morrow
  • Water-Lilies
  • Time O'Day
  • Ballad of Fair Helen of Kirkconnel
  • Picnic
  • (An) Eastern Lament
  • (A) Song of Wine
  • Prelude
  • Have Ye Seen Him Pass By?
  • (The) Huckster
  • (5) Mystical Songs, Easter
  • (5) Mystical Songs, Love bade me welcome
  • Songs of Travel

The music of Cyril Scott has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent times. Between them Chandos, Dutton and Marco Polo have recorded a range of his orchestral, chamber and piano works. This has subsequently allowed us properly to judge the nature and quality of his music, rather than by only a few miniatures such as the Water Wagtail and Danse nègre which shored up his declining reputation after the Second World War.

This pioneering recording, by the enterprising Dutch pair Robbert Muuse and Micha van Weers, of a selection of Scott’s songs, many of them world premieres, provides an enlightening glimpse of the composer’s appreciable powers, not least during the period before the First World War when he was considered, like Bantock, to be one of Britain’s enfants terribles in the musical world. Debussy admired Scott’s work and the influence of the Frenchman is evident in much of the harmonic colour and piano texture, especially in imaginative pieces such as ‘Picnic’, the brusque ‘Song of London’ (both 1906) and ‘An Eastern Lament’ (1909). Muuse consciously attempts to emphasise the heady, languorous atmosphere of ‘A Song of Wine’ (1907), whose French credentials are even more exaggerated in the post-war ‘Have ye seen him pass by?’ and ‘The Huckster’ (both 1921), and the fine setting of Christina Rossetti’s ‘To-Morrow’ (1927). Muuse and van Weers also give impressive performances of Vaughan Williams’s Songs of Travel and two of the Five Mystical Songs (though I miss the presence of the accompanying chorus).

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019