> Cyril Scott - Piano Quartet [RB]: Classical CD Reviews- Oct 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970)
Piano Quartet (1903) [21.40]
Piano Quintet (1925) [39.19]
London Piano Quartet with Marilyn Taylor (violin)
rec All Saints, East Finchley, London 11-13 June 2001
DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7116 [61.13]


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The Piano Quartet reminded me a little of Cadman (see Naxos collection) in its Gallic-Dvořákian grace and strong lyric urge. There are other parallels: Vierne, Max d'Ollonne and Fauré. This is music that is much stronger and more lucidly laid out than the denser melos of Bowen experienced when hearing Dutton CDLX 7115. The music also rang out a little like John Foulds' Cello Sonata (1905). It receives here a really convincing performance of great heft and dedication.

Of even stronger French sympathies the Piano Quintet offers up a rainbow sheaf of hazed and sharply etched impressionistic colours. Here the ‘indicators’ are Ravel (listen to the Allegro grazioso and 7.50 of the finale), Bonnal and Guy-Ropartz. The time-signature is in constant flux. While the quartet has a definite chiselled tune the quintet is more suggestive and subtle. It has a masterly shimmer of motifs and atmosphere and a Debussian undulation. The adagio and the finale further identify this music as utterly remarkable; compare it with Foulds' Quartetto Intimo (on Pearl). The work has an assertively Korngoldian shimmer and misty romance.

Michael Dutton makes imaginative use of London Transport Museum posters in his liner designs as was also the case with the lamented Beulah label. Lewis Foreman contributes his, as usual, well informed and illuminating commentary.

World-class playing from the London Piano Quartet (Nona Liddell, violin; Elizabeth Turnbull, viola, David Kennedy, cello; Philip Fowke, piano) and Ms Taylor makes this amongst the choicest Dutton Epoch releases. Don't miss it.

Rob Barnett

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