Derek B. Scott Orchestral Music Continues to Appeal
All the music on this release are world-recording premieres. And I enjoyed every one of them. Derek B. Scott began his musical career in the field of popular music. He performed in various dance bands, and his field of study was musical theater.
So the music here is tuneful and accessible. And it’s also well-constructed. Scott is thoroughly familiar with classical composition techniques.
Many of the works on this album are revisions. After retiring, Scott revisited some of his earlier works. The music here benefits from his decades of experience.
I’m not sure how extensive the revisions are. The works still have a freshness and vitality to them. And many still sound like the product of a young and enthusiastic composer.
To me, Scott reminds me of Malcolm Arnold. Both composer take a very practical approach to composition, based on their experiences. Yes, they have complex thoughts to express. But they want to be as clear as possible in expressing them. For the musicians, it means not having to puzzle out idiosyncratic notation. One can get straight to the emotional core of the work straight away.
For the listener, it means just hearing the music and judging it on its own merits. You don’t need to know what “isms” Scott’s using (none, actually). You don’t need to carefully read the liner notes to discern what the composer’s trying to say. It’s all there in the sound.
And really, that’s the way it should be, I think.
The Liepāja Symphony Orchestra does well with this music. Paul Mann directs them in some thoughtful and insightful readings. As with the previous volumes, the ensemble sound is full and focused. Scott’s symphonies (Volume Two) remains my favorite release. But this comes pretty close.
Derek B. Scott: Orchestral Music, Volume Three
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra; Paul Mann, conductor