A prolific composer, Scott wrote some four hundred works including: four Symphonies, three Operas, two Piano Concertos, four Oratorios, Concertos for Violin, Cello, Oboe and Harpsichord, several Overtures, Tone Poems, many Chamber works and innumerable songs.
Cyril Scott was "a pioneer of British piano music, producing more piano works in the period 1903-1914 than any other British composer and any other international one, with the exception of Scriabin... (He) was a key figure before World War I in helping Britain to break away from musical conservatism and the prevailing Germanic influences.” (Lisa Hardy, The British Piano Sonata 1870-1945)
There is a story that when Bernard Shaw commented to Elgar on the (then) daring harmonies of his Second Symphony Elgar replied "You mustn’t forget, it was Cyril Scott started all that!"
Described by Eugene Goossens as "the father of modern British music", he was admired by composers as diverse as Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky and his lifelong friend Percy Grainger.
Even Sorabji, one of the most extraordinary musical figures of the time and one of Scott’s severest critics had high praise for the Piano Concerto No.1 (1914) which he lauded several times in print and in a letter to Scott many year later complained of "the neglect of that best of modern British piano concertos, your own enchanting work".
By the start of World War II Scott’s popularity had declined. There were fewer performances and virtually no recordings but he was undeterred and produced two Symphonies, an Opera, an Oratorio, Concertos, Quintets, Quartets, Trios and Sonatas, working until the final three weeks of his life when he finished the revision of his last composition barely able to hold the pen at the age of 91. During that time he also revised the wonderfully evocative Early One Morning for piano and orchestra (1931, rev.ed 1962).
From 1974 to the present day interest in Cyril Scott has steadily been increasing with beautiful new CDs being released yearly.