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Cyril Scott

Biography

Born: September 27, 1879; Oxton, Cheshire   Died: December 31, 1970; Eastbourne, London, England  
English composer Cyril Scott was, at one time, widely credited as the composer who brought British music into the twentieth century. Although Scott is still worthy of this distinction, the long neglect to which his music was subjected has placed the value of his contribution beyond reach for most. With the dawn of the twenty-first century, it appears that Scott is finally getting his just due, as his work is beginning to emerge from the shadows Read more of obscurity. The son of a Greek scholar, Scott was sent to Frankfurt to study music with Engelbert Humperdinck at age 12. The young English musicians who were his classmates there, Percy Grainger, Roger Quilter, Norman O'Neill, and Balfour Gardiner, are sometimes referred to as "The Frankfurt Group," though throughout his life Scott remained close only to Grainger. Although Scott was a fine pianist, early on he decided that musical composition was his true calling. While in Frankfurt, Scott befriended poet Stefan Georg and would later translate Georg's works into English after the poet's death.

Scott's professional career began in 1901 when his first symphony was premiered in Darmstadt, to acclaim, though Scott later withdrew this work, along with many others dating from his German years, as immature; the manuscripts of these pieces were destroyed during World War II bombing raids. Henry Wood gave the premiere of Scott's Symphony No. 2 in 1903, and its positive reception earned Scott a publishing contract with Schott. However, in 1904 he also struck a deal for lesser works with the publisher Elkin, and the business of keeping to the terms of this agreement Scott later regarded as his own undoing. At this time, Scott also made contact with the second great, all-consuming passion of his life, the study of theosophy and occult sciences.

In 1905, Scott composed Lotus Land, a mystically atmospheric parlor piece for Elkin that became an enormous commercial success. For the remainder of his contract with Elkin, Scott felt obliged to follow it up with something similarly lucrative, a goal that he never managed to attain, though several of his songs and other short piano pieces did win popularity in England. The 1914 premiere of Scott's Piano Concerto No. 1 was very well received and the piece itself proved influential among young composers in England, but little did the 35-year-old composer realize that he'd just reached the peak of his career in "serious" music. Starting in the 1920s, British music moved away from the highly atmospheric, impressionistic, and harmonically voluptuous idiom in which Scott specialized toward a tart, taut, tonally centered language akin to neo-Classicism. His books on mysticism and a trilogy of novels entitled The Initiate proved popular and helped keep Scott afloat during these years. Although he mainly played concerts of his own works, Scott began to perform the music of other composers at about this time, and in 1934 gave the British premiere of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3. The reception to his new works, however, went from bad to worse, with his tone poem Disaster at Sea (1933) proving a disaster in every other way as well, and his third symphony, titled The Muses (1939), remained unperformed until 2003.

During World War II, Scott suffered a health crisis that evolved into a creative one. For several years he was unable to compose, and Percy Grainger offered him a house to move into as Scott was practically destitute. His fortunes improved after the war and Scott began to compose anew; in 1963, a group of friends founded a "Cyril Scott Society" to help him recover some part of his reputation as a musician. Developments were slow in coming, and not long after Scott died, the society ceased to operate, but it did gain Scott a performance of his Piano Concerto No. 1 by Moura Lympany in 1969 in honor of Scott's 90th birthday. The reception of the concerto in 1969 was far more favorable than anyone could have predicted, and although it did not lead to the immediate revival of Scott's music, it did ignite a small, slow-burning spark of interest in Scott's output of more than 400 works that would evolve into an explosion after the year 2000.

Scott's life covered an enormous span of developments in the world; in adulthood he could recall a day when his teachers in Frankfurt took time off to attend the funeral of Johannes Brahms and, near the end of his life, he watched the first moon landing on television. When Cyril Scott died at age 91 on the last day of 1970, he had just put the final touches on his last composition, Dance Song, that morning. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 77 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    British Piano Concertos
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2345 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Alun Hoddinott,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Gerald Finzi  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Philip Fowke,  Malcolm Binns,  Peter Katin  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Dommett,  Barry Wordsworth,  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    James Galway - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 302633 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Arthur Smith,  Various,  Traditional,  Stan Lebowsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Sylvia,  Marisa Robles,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Eduardo Mata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Galway Pops Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Cyril   Scott: Lotus Land And Other Piano Works / Dennis Hennig
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764467 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Scott
    Performer:  Dennis Hennig
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  • 4.
    British Composers Premiere Collections Vol. 4
    Label: Cameo Classics   Catalog: 9041 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lillian Elkington,  Dorothy Howell,  Cyril Scott,  Salomon Jadassohn
    Performer:  Valentina Seferinova,  Michael Laus
    Conductor:  Toby Purser,  Michael Laus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orion Symphony Orchestra,  Malta Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Granville Bantock, Cyril Scott, Roger Sacheverell Coke: Sonatas For Violin & Viola
    Label: Em Records   Catalog: 18 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Granville Bantock,  Cyril Scott,  Roger Sacheverell Coke
    Performer:  Matthew Rickard,  Rupert Marshall-Luck
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  • 6.
    Le Violon Vagabond
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951785 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Frolov,  Béla Bartók,  Manuel Ponce,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Natalia Gous,  Graf Mourja
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  • 7.
    Old Vienna
    Label: Emec (Editorial De Musica Espanola)   Catalog: 71 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Leopold Godowsky,  Leó Weiner,  Moritz Moszkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Tobias Bigger,  Inna Kogan
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  • 8.
    The Expressive Voice Of The Flute
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 21222 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Howard Blake,  William Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Smith,  Paul Rhodes
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  • 9.
    Frank Bridge, Cyril Scott: Piano Quintets
    Label: British Music Society   Catalog: 442 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Scott,  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Raphael Terroni
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  • 10.
    The Complete Electric And Selected Acoustic Recordings / Irene Scharrer
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 6010 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  William Boyce,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Irene Scharrer
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  • 11.
    Icon - John Ogdon
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4637 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Henri Dutilleux,  Florent Schmitt,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lawrence Foster,  Paavo Berglund,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Nocturnes / Michael Landrum
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92158 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Field,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ottorino Respighi,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Landrum
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  • 13.
    Delius And His Circle / Paul Guinery
    Label: Stone Records   Catalog: 8013 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Scott,  Arnold Bax,  Frederic Austin,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Guinery
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  • 14.
    Songs Of Quest & Inspiration - Cyril Scott, Vaughan Williams
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72527 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Scott,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Robert Muuse,  Micha Van Weers
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  • 15.
    Rambles & Reflections - Piano Transcriptions by Percy Grainger / Piers Lane
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55454 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  John Dowland,  George Frideric Handel,  Cyril Scott  ... 
    Performer:  Piers Lane
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  • 16.
    Nettle & Markham In England
    Label: Netmark   Catalog: 200 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Addinsell,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jeremy Nicholas,  Noel Gay  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Markham,  David Nettle
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  • 17.
    The Ballad Singer / Gerald Finley, Julius Drake
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67830 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Loewe,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Julius Drake
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  • 18.
    Complete 78-RPM Solo Recordings / Percy Grainger
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 7501 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Percy Aldridge Grainger  ... 
    Performer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Concert Band
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  • 19.
    Songs Of Yesterday / Dan Laurin, Anna Paradiso
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1785 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  York Bowen,  Edmund Rubbra,  Cyril Scott,  Herbert Murrill  ... 
    Performer:  Dan Laurin,  Anna Paradiso
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  • 20.
    Gibbs, Scott, Wright, Pehkonen: Oboe Concertos / Small, Yates, Liverpool Philharmonic
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 7249 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cecil Armstrong Gibbs,  Cyril Scott,  Christopher Wright,  Elis Pehkonen
    Performer:  Jonathan Small
    Conductor:  Martin Yates
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Tiramisu For The Soul / Hartmut Schill, Rainer Schill
    Label: Auris Subtilis   Catalog: 7771025 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Werner Bochmann,  Paul Lincke,  Franz Drdla  ... 
    Performer:  Hartmut Schill,  Rainer Schill
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  • 22.
    It's Peaceful Here - Vladimir Spivakov, Sergei Bezrodny
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 62524 Release Date: 08/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Fritz Kreisler,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Bezrodny,  Vladimir Spivakov
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  • 23.
    Puente Goes Jazz / Tito Puente
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 66148 Release Date: 07/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ted Sommer,  Jerome Kern,  Oscar Pettiford,  Tito Puente  ... 
    Conductor:  Tito Puente
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tito Puente Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Cyril Scott: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 3, Sonata Melodica / Howick, Rahman
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572290 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Scott
    Performer:  Clare Howick,  Sophia Rahman
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  • 25.
    English Recorder Music
    Label: British Music Society   Catalog: 425 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Antony Hopkins,  Colin Hand,  Franz Reizenstein  ... 
    Performer:  Ross Winters,  Andrew Ball
    CD: $18.99
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