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Chisholm - Violin Concerto, Dance Suite and Preludes (Hyperion September 2017)


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Author Topic: Chisholm - Violin Concerto, Dance Suite and Preludes (Hyperion September 2017)  (Read 190 times)
patmos.beje
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« on: June 28, 2017, 05:05:08 pm »


Full details of the September Hyperion release, including extracts and downloadable digital booklet, now available: http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA68208

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patmos.beje
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 02:03:57 pm »


What an invaluable addition this CD is to the repertoire of 20th century British and modernist music!  Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin

In 2012, through purchasing a CD from The Erik Chisholm Trust, I corresponded with Chisholm’s eldest daughter Morag.  She was curious as to how I knew about her father’s music.  I informed her it was through acquiring, when a teenager, her father’s book The Operas of Leoš Janáček which contained a tribute to her late father.  My correspondence ended by saying, something like, “here’s hoping a CD of the Violin Concerto will follow”.  Well, after starts and stops – it will be recorded it won’t be – the CD has finally arrived with the Dance Suite and orchestrations of three of Chisholm’s delightful piano preludes.

The Violin Concerto is a unique contribution to 20th century violin concerto literature.  A kaleidoscopic sound world of virtuoso violin writing, Hindu ragas and brilliant orchestral textures.  It might not quite reach the heady heights of Szymanowski’s two Concertos or Bartók’s second (both composers Chisholm brought to Glasgow – indeed I’ve seen a bagpipe Bartók purchased on one of his two visits displayed in the Bartók house in Budapest), but, in my opinion, Chisholm’s concerto deserves to be spoken of alongside these modernist masterpieces in terms of it being a thoroughly individual and outstanding work for violin and orchestra composed in the 20th century.  Not, perhaps, a work of immediate appeal in terms of thematic material but, for me, repeated hearings of a 2015 broadcast opened up the great merits of this piece.  The Hyperion version is, in my view, better than the broadcast performance.

The first extract of the Dance Suite which became available on Hyperion’s web page (Reel), seemed to disclose a light-hearted work.  Nothing of the sort!  It is a weighty piece with light-hearted moments and could have passed as a first piano concerto (as the aforementioned book erroneously designates the work) notwithstanding its 4 comparatively brief movements.  In terms of its sound world, it is a worthy precursor to Chisholm’s first "Piobaireachd" piano concerto.  The Dance Suite was, no doubt, modernistic for the 1930s but is more immediately accessible than the 1950's Violin Concerto.

The preludes, like the Dance Suite, represent a Celtic side to Chisholm and his orchestrations of them – retaining an important role for the piano in the orchestra – elaborate on the original piano versions.  Knowing the delightful and energetic Port a beul prelude in its piano version and having heard the first 60 seconds of the orchestrated version in the Hyperion extracts, I was eager to hear how Chisholm would orchestrate the spirited climax which finishes with a piano flourish.  He adopts the eminently sensible option of retaining the flourish on the piano itself!

I am very pleased to have this CD.  I hope it sells well and facilitates the enhancement of this fine composer’s reputation.

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patmos.beje
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 07:53:39 pm »


Review of the CD by Rob Barnett on MusicWeb : http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2017/Sep/Chisholm_VC_CDA68208.htm
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 04:58:17 am »

I somehow missed the release of the Piano Concertos, so have bought those and been impressed with both. Now awaiting the Violin Concerto.
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patmos.beje
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 09:50:35 pm »


An enthusiastic review of the CD in Gramophone: https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/chisholm-violin-concerto-dance-suite
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