"The revival of Cyril Scott’s large output of piano music continues with two more fine CDs
thanks to the inspired dedication of Canadian pianist Leslie De’Ath.
[The] arrangements of Bach, five of which are included here...
should be a hit in these sparkling performances.
Good recording and presentation again: nobody could do better for Scott."
Peter Dickinson, The Gramophone, October 2006
"Again many thanks and congratulations on this series which has exceeded all artistic expectations."
Lewis Foreman, May 26 email to Leslie De'Ath
"Some of the best playing (and best work) is four-handed, including some delightful and unexpected Bach arrangements."
Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine, October 2006
"You may, without fear, invite De’Ath into your house and feel confident in performances that get to the heart of the music.
The intelligent notes are by the pianist, and Dutton’s sound leaves nothing to be desired."
Becker, American Record Guide, Mar/Apr 2007
"Russian Fair establishes this two-piano team as a tight duo right from the start....
The set is required listening for all Cyril Scott fans; the performances are impressive."
Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970)
Orchestral Works, Volume 2
Piano Concerto No. 1
Symphony No. 4
Early One Morning
Howard Shelley (piano)
BBC Philharmonic/ Martyn Brabbins
Cyril Scott was an artist of immense standing amongst his contemporaries. Debussy wrote of him, ‘Cyril Scott is one of the rarest artists of the present generation…’ and Elgar acknowledged Scott’s influence in his treatment of harmony. Scott failed to receive attention after the First World War for he did not connect with the musical establishment as it developed. His posthumous lack of popularity is unfathomable as his music has a personality and integrity which demand, nearly half a century on, that we revisit it.
This release places Scott’s early masterpiece, the first Piano Concerto, alongside one of the larger orchestral works composed after the Second World War. Performed here by Howard Shelley, the large scale Piano Concerto was composed immediately before the First World War and premiered by Scott himself, with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of his friend Sir Thomas Beecham. Scott’s static and exotic harmony, and his use of ostinati, repeated motifs, exotic orchestral colours and the bell-like effect of repeated fourths lend the work an oriental sound world. Scott himself said about it: ‘It’s as if Scarlatti had lived in China’. Symphony No. 4 was completed in 1952 but has not been performed until now and with this release receives its world premiere recording. Clearly influenced by Ravel and Debussy, particularly at the climax points, Scott composes melodic lines that are richly chromatic, and his orchestration is colourful and constantly changing. This work is coupled with Early One Morning, a single-movement ‘Poem’ for piano and orchestra.
Howard Shelley is, as usual, an impeccable soloist… this release represents a remarkable discovery in 20th-century British music: excellent recording, too.
Scott’s scoring is extravagant but lucid, his harmony sensuous and involving, and his structures are free but controlled… This is a CD of terrific music, its demands comprehensively met by the musicians and the recording.
International Record Review