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Scott, C: Orchestral Works, Vol 2


Release Date: 05/23/2006 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10376   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Cyril Scott
Performer:  Howard Shelley
Conductor:  Martyn Brabbins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Cyril Scott's orchestral style offers decadence without danger. For some listeners that may sound like the equivalent of sex with an inflatable doll, but if you enjoy heaps of luscious scoring and captivating orchestral sonority, then Scott's your guy. The First Piano Concerto is something of a marvel: it contains not a single memorable thematic idea and yet sustains its 30-minute length solely on the strength of its sheer color and character. Howard Shelley plays it very well, and it's something of a puzzle that it has had to wait so long for a new recording. Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Philharmonic offer a typically reliable accompaniment, though the engineering is somewhat low-level (as on the remaining items as well).
Read more /> Symphony No. 4 is a tougher nut. While the textures are just as rich, the absence of solo/orchestra interplay, combined with the music's lack of melodic substance, renders the work curiously elusive. Also, you really have to wonder why a composer in the early 1950s writing in this style feels duty-bound to create a traditional four-movement work that, while certainly full of ear-catching detail from moment to moment, displays absolutely no discernible reason why the music takes the form that it does. As a result, although the symphony is even shorter than the concerto (a bit less than half an hour), it feels twice as long. Perhaps Scott was trying a little too hard to be serious when he's really at his best when he's just having some sonic fun.

Early One Morning is a brief piece for piano and orchestra based on the eponymous tune, and it benefits from the presence of a stronger thematic profile despite Scott's determined attempt to bury his subject as deeply as possible in a welter of non-functional harmonic decoration. Once again the textures are consistently pretty, and the poetic ending comes off very well, but you wish Scott had given his splendid tune a bit more time to display itself in all of its stark simplicity. This music is pleasant to listen to but also curiously unsatisfying after the fact. Understand what you're getting, and these intelligent, musicianly performances will do nicely.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 4 by Cyril Scott
Conductor:  Martyn Brabbins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1951-2 
2. Early One Morning by Cyril Scott
Conductor:  Martyn Brabbins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
3. Concerto for Piano no 1 by Cyril Scott
Performer:  Howard Shelley (Piano)
Conductor:  Martyn Brabbins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 1: I. Allegro maestoso - Animato - Molto tranquillo -
Piano Concerto No. 1: II. Adagio - Sostenuto - Animato -
Piano Concerto No. 1: III. Allegro poco moderato - Poco sostenuto - Estatico -
Symphony No. 4: I. Adagio - Vigoroso - Grazioso - Andante poco rubato -
Symphony No. 4: II. Molto tranquillo
Symphony No. 4: III. Scherzo: Allegro - Allegro non troppo -
Symphony No. 4: IV. Rondo retrospettivo: Adagio - Energico -
Early One Morning

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