Robbert Muuse & Micha van Weers

Songs of Quest and Inspiration

Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917252729
Catnr: CC 72527
Release date: 08 November 2011
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72527
Release date
08 November 2011

"impressive performances"

Gramophone, 01-3-2012

About the album

Music history is often unfair to composers. Following his studies in Germany, Cyril Scott became known as the leader of the so-called “Frankfurt Group” of five British composers, including Percy Grainger and Roger Quilter, who “stood apart in outlook and education from the mainstream of the conservative British musical establishment”. Overall, he was a major figure in helping Britain to break away from Austro-Germanic musical hegemony. The famous conductor and composer Eugene Goossens even called him “The Father of Modern British Music;. Much to his own frustration, however, Scott became especially known as a successful composer of innumerable; short songs and piano pieces rather than for his serious compositions. By and large, he produced these;, as he called them, due to a contract that he signed with Elkin in 1904 and I suspect that the fact that he composed only four songs after 1930 had much to do with the ending of this arrangement. Ultimately, the main reasons for Scott’s dropping out from the British music establishment were his musical modernism and, in particular, his fascination with Occultism and Eastern philosophy, which increasingly influenced his musical style. By the 1940s, then, this cosmopolitan composer-pianist was everything but forgotten, though he would continue to compose and, indeed, to write numerous esoteric books, including his most famous Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages (1933), until the end of his life. No doubt, the revival of interest in Scott’s music during recent decades finally does justice to this remarkable, albeit somewhat eccentric, composer.

Conversely, for a long time in music history, the dominant image of Ralph Vaughan Williams has been that of an English nationalist ‘folksong’ composer. Yet, he never claimed that his collecting of English folksongs, which he began in 1903, liberated his muse and by 1918, in fact, he had largely abandoned composition based on folksong. Furthermore, ironically, the piece that overall established “the supposed high priest of the pastoral” as a musical spokesman of the nation, A London Symphony (1913), was a tribute to what was then the world’s largest city! Likewise, his A Pastoral Symphony (1921) was inspired originally by the landscape of wartime France and not, as generally understood, by that of peacetime England. Fortunately, since recent research has challenged many of the myths surrounding Vaughan Williams’ oeuvre, there now is emerging an image of a distinct modernist composer, who commanded a wide range of musical styles.

Besides the familiar, well-known repertoire, Robbert Muuse and Micha van Weers challenge themselves to continuously explore the field of unknown works, forgotten or even forbidden songs that they deem worthy to be re-discovered and performed as new. This research led to their present collection of approximately 80 songs by Cyril Scott, that have unjustly remained unknown to our generation.

De onbekende Cyril Scott en liederen van Ralph Vaughan Williams
Dit album presenteert een selectie van zelden uitgevoerde liederen van de ondergewaardeerde 20e-eeuwse Engelse componist Cyril Scott, uitgevoerd door bariton Robbert Muuse en pianiste Micha van Weers. Enkele van deze liederen zijn nog nooit eerder opgenomen. Het album bevat ook de Songs of Travel en twee van de Five Mystical Songs van Ralph Vaughan Williams.

De fenomenale bariton Robbert Muuse en de veelzijdige pianiste Micha van Weers treden als duo regelmatig op in binnen- en buitenland. Met enige regelmaat verschijnen zij op internationale radio en televisie. Naast het standaard liedrepertoire is het duo altijd op zoek naar zeldzame, vergeten of zelfs verboden liederen. Dit leidde hen naar de liederen van Cyril Scott, die ten onrechte onbekend zijn gebleven.

Cyril Scott was een productieve componist en schreef ruim 400 werken. Veel van zijn muziek wordt echter maar zelden uitgevoerd, waaronder de 13 liederen op dit album. Hij was een belangrijk figuur in het doorbreken van de dominantie van de Austro-Germaanse muziek in Groot-Brittanië. De beroemde dirigent en componist Eugene Goossens noemde hem zelfs “de vader van de moderne Britse muziek”.
Ralph Vaughan Williams deed veel onderzoek naar Engelse volksmuziek, wat veel invloed had op zijn manier van componeren. Hij wordt hierdoor gezien als een sleutelfiguur in het Engels muzikaal nationalisme en wordt tegenwoordig gezien als een uitgesproken modernistische componist, die een breed scala aan muzikale stijlen beheerste.

Lied-Weltersteinspielungen von Cyril Scott

Außer dem vertrauten, wohl bekannten Repertoire fordern Robbert Muuse und Micha van Weers sich heraus, unaufhörlich das Feld von unbekannten Werken, vergessener oder sogar verbotenen Lieder zu erforschen, dass sie für würdig halten, wieder entdeckt und neu geführt zu werden. Diese Forschung führte zu einer Auswahl aus einer Sammlung von etwa 80 Liedern von Cyril Scott, die unserer Generation völlig zu unrecht unbekannt geblieben sind, ergänzt durch bekanntere Lieder von Vaughan Williams wie den Zyklus 'Songs of Travel'.

“As Cyril Scott’s son, I know he would be delighted that these songs are being recorded, for the first time on CD, by such accomplished performers as Robbert Muuse and Micha van Weers” - Desmond Scott


Robbert Muuse was born in the Netherlands and studied singing with Mya Besselink, Donald Litaker and Helmuth Kolvenbach. He received his vocal and operatic training in Maastricht, the opera academy of Karlsruhe, Germany and the Mozarteum Salzburg. His training in becoming a Lied-singer he received from Konrad Richter, Hartmut Höll and Julius Drake.

As a concertsinger he sang many concert works and oratorios, in concert halls throughout Europe, the U.S.A. and in Israel, and worked with conductors Paul Goodwin, Christoph Poppen, Jan Willem de Vriend (with Combattimento Consort Amsterdam), Jos van Veldhoven (The Netherlands Bach Society), and Frédéric Desenclos of the Ensemble Pierre Robert (France). He made recordings on cd, dvd (opera), international radio and television. He takes a special interest in the song repertoire and has a long partnership with pianist Micha van Weers. Together they have performed many song recitals.

Micha van Weers was born in the Netherlands and studied piano in Maastricht with Tilly Keessen and Tonie Ehlen. In 1994 she studied in Prague with pianist František Maxián for interpreting 20th-century Czech piano repertoire. Furthermore she studied song accompaniment, in Stuttgart with Konrad Richter, with Hartmut Höll at the Mozarteum Salzburg and in London with Julius Drake. She won several awards, such as the Audience Prize and the Special RAI-Prize at the Int. Seghizzi Song Competition in Italy; the MeesPierson Award in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, as a duo with baritone Robbert Muuse.

Micha van Weers has performed in many concert halls in the Netherlands, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in Germany, France (Paris), Prague and Salzburg. She has accompanied many different singers and instrumentalists, and made several recordings for radio and television. Beside chamber music, she has a special fondness of playing Lieder. She has been working with baritone Robbert Muuse since their encounter in 1994. Besides the familiar, well-known repertoire, Robbert Muuse and Micha van Weers challenge themselves to continuously explore the field of unknown works, forgotten or even forbidden songs that they deem worthy to be re-discovered and performed as new. This research led to their present collection of approximately 80 songs by Cyril Scott, that have unjustly remained unknown to our generation.


impressive performances
Gramophone, 01-3-2012

Play album


Robbert Muuse & Micha van Weers - Blackbird's Song, op. 52, no. 3
Robbert Muuse & Micha van Weers - To-Morrow (Chr. Rossetti)

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