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Erik Chisholm's Violin Concerto - Glasgow performance and BBC broadcast


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Author Topic: Erik Chisholm's Violin Concerto - Glasgow performance and BBC broadcast  (Read 725 times)
patmos.beje
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« on: April 14, 2015, 10:23:18 pm »

In looking to see if there is any more information on the Hyperion release of Chisholm's Violin Concerto it transpires the Concerto is getting its first performance since 1952 (and third performance in total) on Thursday 23 April in Glasgow with a different soloist than the planned Hyperion recording.  Grin

Matthew Trusler is the soloist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Collins.  The notes say:

'To mark the 50th Anniversary of the death of Erik Chisholm, the BBC SSO gives the first performance for more than 60 years of one of the Glasgow-born composer’s most important pieces, his Violin Concerto. Last heard at the 1952 Edinburgh Festival when the distinguished Austrian-born violinist Max Rostal played it with the BBC Scottish Orchestra and Ian Whyte, the concerto is a tour-de-force for both soloist and orchestra, richly coloured by Chisholm’s deep interest in Indian classical music.'

See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/egzv4f

The Erik Chisholm site also contains the under noted information:

'The BBC SSO will perform Chisholm’s only violin concerto in Glasgow City Halls on April 23rd, and a BBC broadcast will follow. This will be the first performance since Szymon Goldberg premiered it in Cape Town in 1952 and later that year with Marc Rostal at the Edinburgh Festival.'   Cheesy

See: http://www.erikchisholm.com/pdf/spring2015.pdf

If someone manages to find when the broadcast will take place and can record it that would be great.  Wink

What this means for the Hyperion recording remains to be seen.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 03:04:34 am »

Forget about a Hyperion recording. It is not going to happen Sad
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patmos.beje
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 08:09:38 am »

Forget about a Hyperion recording. It is not going to happen Sad

 Cry Sadly I thought that might be the case.  Do you know if it is due to financial reasons - the piano concertos CD not selling well?
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2015, 12:17:13 am »

Forget about a Hyperion recording. It is not going to happen Sad

 Cry Sadly I thought that might be the case.  Do you know if it is due to financial reasons - the piano concertos CD not selling well?

That is precisely the reason Sad  2,000 or so copies do not "justify" the financial outlay.

Which makes an off-air recording of the Violin Concerto especially desirable. Someone please Huh Smiley
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patmos.beje
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2015, 06:36:36 am »

Thanks for the confirmation.

An off-air recording is most desirable and, hopefully, some kind person will record it and upload it to this forum.  I will keep a look out for it but am abroad several times over the next few months which will preclude my recording it if it is broadcast during my absence.  I will keep a look out on the Erik Chisholm site for a date but it might not be updated in time for the broadcast.

All else failing I presume, eventually, the Erik Chisholm Trust and/or the Scottish Music Centre will make the broadcast available.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 08:23:43 am »

I'm planning to go to the concert.
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patmos.beje
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 01:18:21 pm »

I'm planning to go to the concert.

I would have gone but for my due to being in the air on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.  Pity as I would have loved to attend. Embarrassed

If you can post your immediate reactions that would be appreciated.

If the Violin Concerto is anything like the piano concertos, especially 'No.2 "the Hindustani"', I expect it will be interesting but not immediately accessible and will require several hearings to appreciate its true merits.  Something which will only be possible in a recording.  It is inevitable that we will get a recording either by someone recording the broadcast or from the other sources I mentioned previously.

Chisholm's never performed Concerto for Orchestra the 'Van Riebeeck' Concerto ( which forms a triptych with the Violin Concerto and 2nd Piano Concerto as works based on Indian music) is soon getting a performance in a two piano version.  I presume that may be available, in due course, from the Chisholm Trust.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 05:16:45 pm »

If the Chisholm Trust benefitted from contributions of such incredible generosity as has the Havergal Brian Society then the Trust could offer to put up more money for a commercial recording. The recent and forthcoming recordings of the music of Havergal Brian would have been impossible but for such generosity.
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Gauk
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 07:01:06 pm »


If the Violin Concerto is anything like the piano concertos, especially 'No.2 "the Hindustani"', I expect it will be interesting but not immediately accessible and will require several hearings to appreciate its true merits. 


Also my reaction to the the piano concertos.
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Gauk
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2015, 10:40:50 pm »

Well ...

The Chisholm Violin Concerto is an amazing piece. It is far more approachable and accessible than the piano concertos. Dramatic and impassioned, it drew an enthusiastic response from the large audience in attendance. There is really not a dull bar in the piece, and much of it was sending shivers down my spine. Admittedly, it’s the only Chisholm piece I have heard in the concert hall rather than recorded, but no other piece of his has bowled me over in the same way.

I think that one of the difficulties with the Hindustani PC is that the rhythmic complexity gets in the way of grasping the musical material. I was expecting the same in the Violin Concerto, but the writing is much easier to follow.

It really is a scandal that this piece has lain unperformed for 60 years.

It has an unusual four-movement structure, which may have put some off the idea of performing it. The first movement is entitled “Passacaglia telescopo in modo Vasantee”, whatever that means, and the passacaglia starts initially in the lower strings before the soloist’s first entrance. The tempo marking is “poco sostenuto”. The music, full of Indian colour, builds up to a dramatic climax towards the end of the movement that cuts directly into a long and gripping cadenza.

The second movement is an allegro scherzando, which is a fierce, hard-driven scherzo with nothing very playful about it. Chisholm uses two side drums in this movement; one is played conventionally, and the other is played as a tabla at the same time. The movement leads to another, shorter cadenza which is terminated by a loud thump from the orchestra that concludes the movement.

The third movement is titled “Aria in modo Sohani” and is marked “andante expressio“. It starts off as a long dialogue between soloist and flute over cello pizzicati, with other instruments joining in.

The allegro molto finale is described as a “fuga senza tema”. Well, it depends what you mean by “theme”; it is recognisably a fast fugue with a scurrying figuration as subject. It’s a whirling dance of a movement bringing the work to a brilliant conclusion.

I know that the “MacBartok” tag refers to Chisholm the folk-song collector and is not a reference to his musical style, but here I actually was reminded of Bartok in places, specifically the Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste. Partly, perhaps, for the “misterioso” character of some of the orchestration.

This would be a great piece to put on at the Proms. Just as Foulds’s “Dynamic Triptych” has gone from being completely unknown to a popular classic in the space of the last 20 years, I can see the same thing happening to Chisholm’s Violin Concerto. It has much the same sort of appeal.
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2015, 11:36:47 pm »

Broadcast Huh
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patmos.beje
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2015, 11:21:30 am »

Broadcast Huh

According to the Chisholm Trust the Violin Concerto will be broadcast, being the resaon why I started this post (see above and the relevant link).

Thanks Gauk for the report on the concert which I would have loved to attend.  Cheesy  I am delighted it was the full Concerto that was performed.  This may be a world premiere.  According to John Purser's book on Chisholm in the South African premiere the 4th movenent was dropped and the 2nd movement scherzo concluded the work.  I think this may have been true of the Edinburgh Festival performance [As I am in the USA I cannot check the Purser book].

I enthusiastically wait for the broadcast or other source of recording (Chisholm Trust or SMC) which I aniticipate for me, along with the forthcoming Dutton Bate Cello Concerto, will be one of the best highlights of 2015 for newly discovered music. Grin
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2015, 01:49:53 pm »

I know that the Chisholm Trust has tried for some time to interest more than one record company in recording the Violin Concerto. The initial idea was to couple it with another Scottish concerto. I was asked to suggest a suitable coupling and, after some thought, picked the William Wordsworth Violin Concerto. Wordsworth was not Scottish but spent a substantial part of his later life living in Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands. Many of his orchestral works were premiered by Scottish orchestras.

Then the feedback was that the companies would prefer an all-Chisholm disc, for which the Van Riebeeck Concerto would have been the logical choice.

However the current parlous nature of company finances now means that the cost of the recording would require the Trust to put up more money than it can command.
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Gauk
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2015, 11:14:12 pm »

I am delighted it was the full Concerto that was performed.  This may be a world premiere.  According to John Purser's book on Chisholm in the South African premiere the 4th movenent was dropped and the 2nd movement scherzo concluded the work.  I think this may have been true of the Edinburgh Festival performance [As I am in the USA I cannot check the Purser book].

That would have ruined the work; well, maybe not completely, but the four movements provide a very satisfying structure, and not having the last movement would mean missing out on a tour de force. Maybe it was too difficult? It really is a fast and furious finale.

I'm looking forward to the broadcast, but it was stated that no date has been scheduled as yet.
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patmos.beje
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2015, 12:17:22 pm »

Maybe it was too difficult? It really is a fast and furious finale.

If I recall what was said by John Purser in his biography on Chisholm, he referred to the final as 'too clever by half' and thought it was sensible that it was dropped and that Chisholm must have approved the move.

In awaiting the aborted Hyperion recording I was hoping the 4th movement would be included as Purser's comments made the final a fascinating prospect for me.  Bear in mind Purser had never heard the Violin Concerto and was basing his comments on the manuscript and his knowledge of the Concerto's (two) performance history.

Fast and furios sounds great! Cheesy
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