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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still recommendable, 18 Feb 2008
Dr. Richard M. Price (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cyril Scott - Orchestral Works (Audio CD)
When this CD was issued back in 1994, reviewers received it without enthusiasm: a miscellaneous selection of Cyril Scott's lesser orchestral pieces in unequal performances, it singularly failed to convince people that Scott was underrated. In the last four years (2004-8) Chandos have issued four CDs of Scott's major orchestral works, immaculately performed and recorded, which have achieved what the Marco Polo disc failed to do. But this does not mean that the Marco Polo disc can now be forgotten: music-lovers who have been convinced by the Chandos series of the attractions of Scott's orchestral music will now turn to it for the works that it alone provides. There are three of these. The Suite Fantastique is pleasant, but slight. The Two Passacaglias were considered by Scott himself, speaking in 1916/7, as the best of his works for orchestra alone up till that date, and the first of them is particularly attractive, consisting, as it does, of a memorable short tune that is repeated many times with a delectably varying accompaniment. My only unease about it is that in this version the tune shifts several times with no apparent logic from the minor to the major, while the contemporary version for piano solo sticks to the minor: these shifts are so untoward that I would like to attribute them to mistakes in the orchestral parts, though I suppose this is unlikely. The other work of real note here is the Neapolitan Rhapsody, a late piece dating to the 1950s, much subtler than Scott's earlier and better-known work of the period 1905-20, and combining in a unique blend bleakness, nostalgia and exultation. It seems to me one of Scott's supreme achievements, and superior to all his four symphonies. The performance on this recording is somewhat rough, but the power of the work comes across convincingly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cyril Scott orchestral works, 3 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Cyril Scott - Orchestral Works (Audio CD)
Cyril Scott was born in September 1879 in Oxton near Birkenhead, and died on 31 December 1970. He was a composer, poet and author who had an interest in the occult and health foods. Until recent years, when the excellent Chandos series featuring his symphonies was released, much of his music had fallen into obscurity. Thanks to that cycle, and also the Dutton series featuring his large output of works for piano, he is becoming a bit better known.

There are five works on this disc : "Aubade for Large Orchestra", "Neapolitan Rhapsody", "Suite Fantastique", "Three Dances" and "Two Passacaglias on Irish Themes", performed by the National Symphony Orchestra of the South African Broadcasting Corporation under Peter Marchbank.

My favourites are the two major-length single-movement works, "Aubade" and "Neapolitan Rhapsody" where the composer develops his somewhat unique approach to harmony. The recording stands up reasonably well, and apart from some slips in intonation and the like from the orchestra, this is not a bad release.

Recommended if you want to investigate the work of this composer before tackling his symphonies.
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Cyril Scott - Orchestral Works
Cyril Scott - Orchestral Works by Cyril Scott (Audio CD - 2004)
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