Erik Chisholm: Music for Piano, Vol 4.
Product Code: DDV24134

Erik Chisholm(1904-1965)

As with Volume 3 in this series of Chisholm’s complete piano works, the selection here reveals a composer with wide stylistic interests and tremendous technical facility, including consummate...
Price: £12.00   Type: CD  

ERIK CHISHOLM - Music for piano, volume 4
Piobaireachd for solo piano [21.35]
1. No. 5: Learn Fhéin an Gleann - The Glen is Mine [5.33]
2. No. 6: Curnha Mhic Shirnidh - Lord Lovat’s Larnent [2.16]
3. No. 7: Failte Thighearna Na Cornaraich - Salute for MacKenzie of Applecross [1.52]
4. No. 8: Cas air Arnhaich, a Thighearna Chola - Maclean of Coil putting his foot on the neck of his enemy [1.05]
Failte nan Grogerach - The MacGregor’s Salute [4.18]
5. Theme [0.47]
6. Variation I [0.35]
7. Variation II [0.15]
8. Variation Ill [0.17]
9. Variation IV [0.32]
10. Variation V [1.52]
11. No. 11: Failte Comunn Gaidhealach Albainn — The Highland Society of Scotland’s Salute [1.29]
12. No. 12: Cumha Phàdruig Oig Mhic Cruimrin — Patrick Og MacCrimmons Lament [2.41]
13. No. 13: Cumha Airson Triall Righ Seumas - Lament for King James [2.21]
Sonatina no. 3 [7.49]
14. Prelude [1.48]
15. Adagio [2.34]
16. Ricercar [0.54]
17. Ricercar [2.33]
Cameos [14.17]
18. A Jewel from the Sidereal Casket [2.18]
19. The Mirror [1.51]
20. The Witch-Hare [0.37]
21. The Companion to Sirius [2.30]
22. The Rolling Stone [0.40]
23. The Procession of Crabs [2.14]
24. The Sweating Infantry [1.11]
25. Happiness [0.56]
Highland Sketches (mostly from the MacDonald Collection) [7.32]
26. i McD4O [0.35]
27 ii Mc092 [1.45]
28.iii unidentified [1.13]
29 iv McD136 [1.09]
30. v McD13O [1.23]
31. vi McD166 [1.27]
Portraits [26.51]
32. Epitaphe [4.03]
33. Melodic Chiaroscura [6.34]
34. Porgy [2.45]
35. Agnes and the Maultasch [4.33]
36. 5055 communes with Malmi [3.53]
37. A Portrait of a Fashionable Gentlewoman [5.03]

Total playing time: [76.09]

Erik Chisholm(1904-1965)

As with Volume 3 in this series of Chisholm’s complete piano works, the selection here reveals a composer with wide stylistic interests and tremendous technical facility, including consummate pianism. It ranges from piobaireachd settings through a neo-classical Sonatina (based on Renaissance originals) to a group of remarkably modernist Portraits, motivated largely by left-wing texts:

“I have always been a Socialist — that is ever since about the age of 12 when I read the proceedings of the Fabian Society and the brilliant reasoned expositions of that philosophy by Shaw, Wells and others: that the wealth of a country should be spread around the people with some degree of fairness to the majority of the inhabitants”

Chisholm was also a pacifist and as open-minded musically as he was socially. The concluding Portraits demonstrate that this was the case even in his early twenties.

The first eight tracks are devoted to Chisholm’s settings of traditional Scottish piobaireachd. The word simply means “pipe music” but has come to be applied to a specific form — a set of variations on a theme more properly called Ceàl mér, the “big music”. Chisholm’s approach to this remarkable genre is deeply informed by its technical idiosyncrasies (See also the booklet notes to DDV24123).

Because the Highland bagpipe chanter is open and therefore always sounding, notes cannot be repeated without some other note or notes being interpolated; nor can the volume be adjusted in any way. Rather than regarding these features as limitations, the use of “cuttings” or graces has been developed as a powerful and yet very subtle feature which can determine just how much emphasis is given to any one note. Like Gaelic psalm singing, which is highly embellished and delivered at a very much slower pace than psalms elsewhere in Europe, Ceàl mér is not played rapidly. It is not that the players do not have the technique — the standards are phenomenally high and the cuttings themselves are executed with incredible speed and accuracy — but that even at a slow tempo it requires real concentration to appreciate their refinement. The skill for the piper is never to lose the flow of the melody and yet to address each note understanding its place in the whole and against the ever-present drones.

One can, to a limited degree, reproduce some of these effects on other instruments, but in the end, if the tradition is to be honoured in such a radically different context as a keyboard, then one must make use of the different opportunities it offers. Chisholm had the knowledge and the pianism to do just that, but he respects the tradition of pace and embellishment, though treating the drone element with inventive harmonic freedom. Highland bagpipe drones are tuned only in octaves, but the ear supplies the fifth, and Chisholm’s chords are nearly always derived from that interval.

Total 5 result(s).
Listen to Track Piobaireachd for Solo Piano - No 5
Listen to Track Sonatina no 3: Prelude
Listen to Track Cameos: No 18
Listen to Track Highland Sketches: i McD40
Listen to Track Portraits: Epitaphe