Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Erik CHISHOLM (1904-65)

Piano Concerto No.1 Piobaireachd
Star Point
Sonatina in G minor
Elegies Nos. 1-4
Sonatina No.4
With Cloggs On.

Murray McLachlan (piano)
Kelvin Ensemble/Julian Clayton.
Rec 2001
£10-00 + 95p p&p, from 2 Park Close, Glossop, Derbyshire SK13 7RQ (e-mail: ; web site ).


Erik Chisholm was a Scotsman who also had important associations with South Africa and an awareness of the major composers of the first half of the 20th Century, especially Bartók.

The principal work here is the 1st Piano Concerto Piobaireachd which, in its revised version, dates from 1937: a recording of a performance in Glasgow in 2000, its first since around 1940. It is strongly influenced by Scottish bagpipe music, not least in its long, espansive first movement. The exciting scherzo features biting brass, and a few lapses of intonation here do remind us that this is a student orchestra and a ‘live’ performance, but both the beautiful Adagio and thrusting finale fare well. Murray McLachlan gives a splendid account of the solo part and the 50-piece Kelvin Ensemble support excellently in general.

The rest of a generously-filled disc is devoted to early, or earlyish, piano solos by Chisholm recorded by Mr. McLachlan in South Africa in 1999. These afford fair variety. The G minor Sonatina (1922), rather long for the "Sonatina" designation (its three movements take almost 18 minutes), is rhapsodic and sometimes diffuse but is already well written for the instrument. The other Sonatina is quite different, very brief and charming and based on fragments of early Spanish lute music. Star Point explores unusual sonorities which undoubtedly grow on one; the rugged Elegies show Bartók’s example applied to the Celtic idiom; With Cloggs On is a substantial movement, impulsive and again rhapsodic, perhaps inspired by Cornwall, also Celtic of course like Chisholm’s native Scotland and certainly brilliantly written for piano.

Mr. McLachlan’s virtuosity and his sympathy with Chisholm emerges in all these pieces and, all told, the disc satisfyingly expands our knowledge of the composer, which was previously confined (on CD) to a 1998 Olympia release and to the recently released South African Claremont CD which included a selection of his songs alongside those by Hely-Hutchinson and Thomas Rajna.

The transfers have been excellently managed and, in general, this is a very recommendable release. We are told that the record industry is in decline but the enterprise of smaller labels continues to delight and instruct us. Dunelm is up there with them.

Philip Scowcroft



There is talk of Dunelm recording of the Chisholm Piano Concerto, The Hindoustani.

You should also note that the CD of songs by Chisholm, Hely-Hutchinson and Rajna is now also available at £10 from the Scottish Music Information Centre.

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