This Chandos disc, Cyril Scott: Piano Trios, features the Gould Piano Trio and guests clarinetist Robert Plane, violinist Lucy Gould and violist David Adams in a miscellany of mostly later Scott works composed in the chamber medium. Although all of these works were published during Scott's lifetime only one has been recorded before, the Clarinet Quintet of 1951. As a general rule, Cyril Scott's post-1930 compositions are not as immediate nor seemingly as successful as those written before that date, and the Piano Trio No. 1, written in 1920, certainly fits the mold; it's a strongly impressionistic, yet quirky and original conception that utilizes some remarkable textures and effects of string scoring. However, the remaining music, written in the 1950s save the touching Cornish Boat Song (1931), is stronger than the "general rule" would suggest, particularly the Clarinet Quintet (1951), which is a darker, more rigorous piece than the Piano Trio No. 1, replete with a latter-day romantic atmosphere that is nevertheless unsentimental in the manner of early Schoenberg, even though we never associate Scott with expressionism. The performances are strong, well-rehearsed, and idiomatic; even if some of this isn't the cream of Scott's chamber crop, the way the Gould Piano Trio and its colleagues put it over you'd think this was his best. Chandos' recording is clear and direct, though a bit quiet, yet in this case one can turn it up within reason without fear of distortion or introducing additional noise.
AllMusic Review by Uncle Dave Lewis
|Piano Trio No. 1|
1. Allegretto moderato - Allegro con spirito - Allargando - Meno mosso - Allegro - Andante - Andante - Allegro con brio - Tempo 1
1. Moderato - Meno mosso - Poco più mosso (quasi Tempo 1) - A trifle lingeringly - Poco allegretto - Maestoso - Poco tranquillo - A tempo - Somewhat lingeringly - A tempo (con moto)