Cyril Scott (1879-1970) was a remarkable
English composer. He came from a cultural family; his father was a classical scholar, his mother a fine amateur musician. Having displayed a natural penchant for music as a child, he was sent to Frankfurt am Main at age 12, remaining there for a year and a half before returning to England. Scott acquired fame mainly as a composer of some exotically flavored piano pieces, of which "Lotus Land" became a perennial favorite.
In many of his pieces, Scott showed himself a master of musical miniature. He wrote in a distinctly modern idiom, very much in the style of French Impressionism; employed sonorous parallel progressions of unresolved dissonant chords; made frequent use of the whole-tone scale. His writing for piano is ingratiating in its idiomatic mastery; his harmonious modalities exude an aura of perfumed euphony.
From his early youth, Cyril Scott was attracted to occult sciences, and was a believer in the reality of the supernatural; he published books and essays on music as a divinely inspired art, and inveighed violently against jazz as the work of Satan.
Scott left no original organ music, but there are 2 books of fine transcriptions. The first, from which this is taken, were done by Arthur Wormald Pollitt, Mus.D. (Dunelm) (1878-1933). He was a chorister at Manchester Cathedral; studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music, and Assistant organist of Manchester Cathedral.
"A Song from the East" is full of exotic, "eastern color," and there are some effective harmonic moments. In this performance, I think you'll hear what is the biggest "problem" with performing such music on Hereford - the ultra quiet or ultra loud flutes. You'll hear the Claribel come on like a chamade - and this is the one on the CHOIR and NOT the Great! If you're playing highly "restrained" music, it IS a real problem to overcome, and I don't feel this is entirely successful.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Cyril Scott.