On October 14, 2018 at 7 p.m.
Talman will be performing at Resonance, at the SOMA Towers, 288 106th Ave. NE, Suite 203, Bellevue, WA 98004. Tickets $15 Adults, firstname.lastname@example.org or at door. The program will be ALL Cyril Scott. Please see EVENTS page.
On October 21, 2018 at 4 p.m.
Talman will be performing his 30th Anniversary Olympic College Concert in the new William D. Harvey Theater Auditorium, 1600 Chester Ave., Bremerton, WA 98337. Admission by donation at door. This program will also be ALL Cyril Scott. Please see EVENTS page.
ALL CYRIL SCOTT
Summerland Suite, op. 54 (1907)
2. A Song from the East
3. Evening Idyll
4. Fairy Folk
Lotus Land, Andante Languido, op. 47 no. 1 (1905)
Chimes, op. 40 no. 3 (1904)
5 minute intermission
Suite for Piano, op. 75 (1910) Dedicated to Claude Debussy
2. Air Varie’
3. Solemn Dance
5. Introduction and Fugue
Program notes: Cyril Scott had a very prolific early piano phase of his compositional career when he wrote most of his famous piano works, from roughly 1904 to 1912. These pieces represent and showcase Scott’s unique and dramatic style: from the light and lyrical, almost whimsical, to the massive organ/orchestral writing of his biggest piano piece (from which he borrowed many elements of much later piano works). His writing reflects a deep understanding of the piano and jazz harmony, classical forms, romanticism and impression, and contains great emotional depth on all levels.
Lento: A light, dreamy jazz prelude, lush,but progressive harmony. A sonorous showcase for the dynamic range of the piano.
Summerland Suite: Inspired by the composer’s grandchildren. Nostalgic, lyrical, playful, exotic, with a gentle tenderness. Highlights the composer’s mastery of the miniature character piece.
Lotus Land: a profoundly moving minor blues once again demonstrating the composer’s mastery of piano sonority and passionate depth of expression. A pentatonic masterpiece that became world famous as many of his other small scale piano works from this time period.
Chimes: Large scale bell-like sonorites, squared two measure phrase structure and beautiful hymn like movement with an exotic/jazz harmonic twist. Extroverted yet intimate.
Suite for Piano, op. 75, an unrecorded, unpublished lost work. I have the original 1910 music purchased from a descendent of a friend of the composer from an estate sale after Scott’s death in 1970. Many of his large scale piano works, were lost after World War II due to fires in the London bombings. Although a resurgence in the early 2000’s of Scott’s piano works has taken place, THIS piece is still unknown, and I am giving the world premiere of this work and have recorded the last movement, the rest will be done this year.
Prelude: A bitonal impressionistic ode to Debussy, changing meters, massive chord structures with a mid-range bass melody with undulating RH triplet countermelody and opposing harmonies. A blissful escape.
Air Varie’: the first bookend to the massive final movement of the fifth. The most jazz oriented harmony and remeniscent of Gaspard De La Nuit by Ravel, and just as difficult. Complex changing meters, massive raised 9th and 13th chords, and highly chromatic middle section. This highlights the extraordinary difficulty in Scott’s advanced piano writing, and that coupled with the massive final movement, is in my opinion why this work was not performed aside from the composer’s premiere. It was just too difficult. Mentally, physically, and emotionally draining, but such a brilliant virtuoso tour-de-force, this piece deserves to be in the repertoire right along the large scale work’s of Scott’s close friends Debussy and Ravel.
Solemn Dance: Multi-meter, a beautiful lyrical escape from the drama of movement 2, this is the listener, and performer’s chance, to relax and enjoy Scott’s dreamy command of voicing and balance.
Caprice: Fast, a jazz triplet riff carries the piece. Very progressive writing, with a massive 11th 13th chord Coda. Exciting and fun to play.
Introduction and Fugue: Orchestral and massive organ pedal points. Rachmaninoff meets jazz. This is a virtuoso tour de force with highly chromatic writing in the fugue and tremendously fast jumps. Bitonal in places (two different keys at once). Multi-layered writing that requires tremendous patience and concentration, and stamina. As a final movement to this HUGE piece, I cannot think of a more difficult finale! Dark and deep, yet moving, unbelievably exciting and rewarding climax to Scott’s unknown masterpiece for the piano. The tension continuously builds for 9 minutes to the most massive and powerful ending.
Cyril Scott (1879-1970)
The English composer, pianist, and author, Cyril Scott was essentially a late romantic composer whose early style was heavily influenced by impressionism and jazz, and was quite ahead of decades ahead of its time. His harmonic structure is exotic and chord structures thick with the sounds of compound intervals, 9th 11th and 13th chords. He uses ever-shifting harmonic colors and wayward inflections of phrase and mood, capturing perfectly the way the mind shifts, backwards and forwards, between reminiscence, regrets, and self assertion.
Between 1903 and 1920 Scott wrote prolifically for the piano. Most of these pieces were harmonically adventurous for the time and his easier works were popular world wide. His most difficult works were neglected in recording and performance, which is unfortunate considering their importance in the piano repertoire. It is only since 2005 that there has been a resurgence of interest in the piano music of Cyril Scott, who has been called the “Father of modern British music by the critic Eugene Goossens. He learned his craft in Germany, and along with Percy Grainger, Norman O’Neill, Roger Quilter, and Balfour Gardiner became known as “The Frankfurt Group.” His music was appreciated and he had close friendships with Debussy, Ravel, Percy Grainger, Richard Strauss, and Igor Stravinsky. And his experiments in free rhythm, generated by expanding musical motifs, in his First Piano Sonata of 1909, op. 66, exerted a direct and powerful influence on Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.”
His larger works for piano require the same degree of technical mastery and flexible artistry as the most difficult works of Debussy, Ravel, and Rachmaninoff, and, hopefully, with the next generation of pianists, they will take their rightful place in stature with these composers’ great works.