Songs of FG Scott: Moonstruck


Francis George Scott is a key figure in Scotland’s musical history. Often referred to as Scotland’s Hugo Wolf, his poetic settings draw on material from such writers as Robert Burns and Hugh McDiarmid to convey an extraordinary range of emotions and themes.

This new recording featuring masterful performances by Lisa Milne, Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside helps to shed light on an often overlooked composer, whose work stems from both the spirit of his national identity and the tradition of the great European song composers.

Including the works:
Milkwort and Bog-cotton
Country Life
The Eemis Stane
Amang the Treets
Ay Waukin, O
The Man in the Moon
The Wee Man
The Watergaw
Te Deil o Bogie

What people are saying

"The songs here are shared between soprano Lisa Milne and baritone Roderick Williams, who capture perfectly the fragile sensitivity of the best songs"

The Guardian 

  "An engaging introduction"

The Knowledge 

    " … the three singers are excellent … an opportunity to shut out the busy 21st century world and to pause and reflect."

Lute News, August 2010

Lisa Milne, Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside

Release date:1st Apr 2007
Order code:SIGCD096
Barcode: 635212009628

The Guardian, 27th April 2007 ***

FG Scott, Francis George Scott (1880-1958), was a new name to me. Born in Hawick, in the Scottish borders, he was mostly self-taught as a composer, and worked for many years as an English teacher. Among his pupils was one Christopher Grieve, better known as the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, whose poetry was to provide the texts for many of Scott’s finest songs. Sixteen of those are among the 32 songs on this thoughtfully compiled disc, which also includes settings of Robert Burns and William Soutar among others. MacDiarmid’s verse appears to have been a fulcrum of Scott’s finest music in the same way that the songs of his younger contemporary Gerald Finzi were centred on his fascination with Thomas Hardy.

In some of the numbers here Scott’s idiom does echo that of English pastoralists Finzi and Vaughan Williams, but in others his musical language is much more forward-looking. The finest MacDiarmid settings here – Moonstruck, The Eene Stane, The Watergaw – are angular and often intensely chromatic, showing that Scott knew his early Schoenberg, while an interest in Bartok inspired his research into Scottish folk music. The songs here are shared between soprano Lisa Milne and baritone Roderick Williams, who capture perfectly the fragile sensitivity of the best songs.

Andrew Clements

The Times, 21st April 2007 ***

The pianist and radio presenter Burnside indulges his passion for the obscure with this disc of 32 songs by the little-known Scottish composer (1880 – 1958). He revels in the crisp, expressive lyrics by the nationalist poet Hugh MacDiarmid (glossary supplied) and Robbie Burns. The soprano Milne ranges from the soft radiant motherliness of Milkwort to eerie wonder in Moonstruck, and is robust and occasionally shrill in the rabble-rousing in The Sauchs. The baritone Williams tempers his mellow tone with righteous anger in Lourd on My Hert, and delivers doom-laden awe in Watergaw and sardonic humour in My Wife’s a Wanton. An engaging introduction.

Rick Jones

MusicWeb International Recordings of the Year 2007

F.G. who? Get Moonstruck and find out. One of the best things to come out of Scotland since whisky.

Patrick Waller

Lute News, No. 94, August, 2010

(Comparative review)

These two recordings open up a window on a world which in many respects was very different from our own and one in which many of us may not feel particularly at home. The music on both was intended for private domestic devotions in 17th century protestant households, in England on the one hand and the Netherlands on the other. The Charivari disc focuses on works intended for three male singers with basso continuo, described in one source as ‘fitt for private Chappels or other private meetings’. Most of them are settings of paraphrases of the psalms although a few other devotional texts are also included. On the whole they are intensely serious and introspective with much emphasis on sin and grief. The composers represented include William Lawes, Matthew Locke, Jeremiah Clark, John Blow, and Purcell as well as a few lesser lights. Musically the pieces have a lot in common with the verse anthems which would have been performed publically in English churches and cathedrals during the same period, the only difference being that they call for more modest resources. As one would expect, the three singers are excellent. Two of them, Simon Beeston and Nicholas Perfect, are not surprisingly, the product of the present day English church establishment. The third is the Chilean singer, Rodrigo del Pozo who manages the often very florid top lines skillfully, although I thought his very distinctive high tenor voice didn’t always to blend quite so well as the other two. The accompaniment is discreet and the vocal works are offset with a few instrumental pieces.
… an opportunity to shut out the busy 21st century world and to pause and reflect.

Monica Hall

  1. Milkwort and Bog-cotton – – [2.32]
  2. Crowdiknowe – – [1.36]
  3. Moonstruck – – [2.37]
  4. The Eemis Stane – – [2.03]
  5. The Sauchs in the Reuch Heuch Hauch – – [1.12]
  6. Ay Waukin, O – – [3.52]
  7. Amang the Trees – – [1.26]
  8. The Discreet Hint – – [1.36]
  9. Je descendis dans mon jardin – – [2.22]
  10. Florine – – [1.46]
  11. Lourd on my hert – – [1.22]
  12. The Watergaw – – [2.26]
  13. Country Life – – [1.14]
  14. Wheesht, Wheest – – [1.31]
  15. O, wha my babie-clouts will buy? – – [2.04]
  16. My wife’s a wanton we thing – – [1.33]
  17. The Inumerable Christ – – [3.06]
  18. I wha aince in Heavens’ Heicht – – [1.24]
  19. An Apprentice Angel – – [2.08]
  20. Hungry Waters – – [1.49]
  21. Te Deil o’Bogie – – [2.48]
  22. To a Lady – – [2.32]
  23. Cupid and Venus – – [2.33]
  24. The Old Fisherman – – [2.24]
  25. Im Tiroler Wirsthaus – – [1.02]
  26. In Time of Tumult – – [2.05]
  27. The Man in the Moon – – [2.07]
  28. First Love – – [1.46]
  29. Empty Vessel – – [1.13]
  30. The Wren’s Nest – – [1.09]
  31. Love of Alba – – [1.53]
  32. The Wee Man – – [1.10]
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