Divine Arts DDV24140
Murray McLachlan (piano).
Includes Piobaireachd: Nos 14, 16, 17, 19-23, Sonatina No. 5, Sonatina No. 6, Cameos, Sonatine Ecossaise, Harris Dance, Tango, Sonata, Elektra, Dance Bacchanal.
“This album maintains the standard of this series, one of the most worth-while integrales in recorded history of pianist/composers. A fine recital programme.” – Peter Grahame Woolf (Musical Pointers)
Murray McLachlan (piano)
Recorded 18-22 December 2006 Whiteley Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester
Divine Art Diversions DDV 24131 [74:37]
I have already given a thumbnail sketch of Erik Chisholm’s life and works in my review of the first four volumes of this cycle on MusicWeb International. Furthermore there is great deal of biographical information in the Chisholm Web pages. However, three things as the kirk minister once said, are useful to bear in mind. Firstly, Erik William Chisholm is one of a group of British composers who have been unjustly neglected: he is often known as Scotland’s Forgotten Composer. Much of his music is inspired and informed by the Scottish folk-music heritage. Secondly his output of music was considerable, with a huge emphasis on the piano repertoire. And lastly, in spite of the fact of his nickname MacBartók, his music is original and quite often groundbreaking, without being novel or eccentric for its own sake... Read More... - John France
Like the first four volumes of Murray McLachlan’s survey of the piano music of the Scottish composer Erik Chisholm (1904-65) – reviewed in the March/April 2009 issue of IP – this fifth installment brings uneven rewards, but the best of it is unlike anything else in music. What makes the best of Chisholm unique is his transfer of piobaireachd (pibroch), the ancient idiom of the Highland bagpipe, to the modern piano keyboard. The mixture of modality and decoration instantly sounds Celtic, but Chisholm adds the quality of individualism you’d expect from this kind of radical traditionalist – the music of his friend Bartók offers a close parallel.
Murray McLachlan goes at the music with all the enthusiasm of a dog greeting a postman, giving full-blooded accounts of the more extrovert pieces and fleshing out the thinner ones, the effect emphasised by the closeness of the recording. If ever we get the chance to compare different approaches to Chisholm, it will be thanks to McLachlan’s pioneering efforts in the first place. - Martin Anderson
Recently, in Fanfare 32:6, I reviewed the first four volumes of Divine Art’s excellent series showcasing the music of Erik Chisholm (1904–1965). There, I provided a précis of Chisholm’s activities. As I explained then, “Piobaireachd” refers to the classical music of the Highland bagpipes of Scotland. Chisholm was proud of his Scottish heritage, and parallels between his excavations and those of Bartók run deep. Read more - Colin Clarke