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Music Scores - Piano Works

All these scores are available to buy in high quality PDF format and are available for immediate download after purchase.

  • Cameos

    £9.00 in PDF format.
    Chisholm copyrighted his Cameos in 1926 when Curwen published pieces 1 to 8. There are twenty five pieces and all have been recorded in the Music for Piano Series. Each of the pieces is given a title, some with quotations from an eclectic gathering of sources showing that Chisholm’s interests were broad ones from the start. The opening piece A Jewel From The Siderial Casket is headed by an unsourced quotation “B. (Beta) Cygnus-a drop of blood red with an emerald green companion” which refers to the spectacular double star. Cameos includes an exuberant piece Happiness. The offbeat left-hand chords give it a reckless immediacy suggestive of general tomfoolery, in which Chisholm indulged throughout his life.

    £9.00 only

  • Night Song of the Bards

    £10.75 in PDF format.
    This extended work takes its inspiration from an anonymous Gaelic poem. The First Bard is constructed from a tightly knit melodic cell first heard at the bottom of the keyboard. The Second Bard’s opening melodic motif expands into a frightening tone poem. The Third Bard creates strikingly impressionistic effects within a filigree texture. The Fourth Bard is a bravura tone poem calling for much virtuosity and élan. In complete contrast the Fifth Bard makes a transition from stasis to serenity. The Sixth Bard has a striking chromatic motif moving towards a powerful climax. The work concludes with a peaceful epilogue in which the music disappears as though through the mist.

    £10.75 only

  • Sonatine Ecossaise

    £4.75 in PDF format
    This is an immediately appealing work in which energy, humour and lyricism appear in equal measure. The rhythmic opening of the first movement harnesses some harsh dissonances and contrasts well with the slow florid central section where the influence of Pibroch can be detected. The slow Lament is followed by the last movement which evokes all the excitement and rhythms of a fiddler’s rally.

    The styles are emphatically Scottish, yet the originality and craftsmanship of the writing remains unique.

    £4.75 only

  • Cornish Sonata

    £14.50 in PDF format.
    The work is of interest as a kind of compositional groundwork for later developments of Scottish traditional material. The first movement The Wet Scythes is a set of variations, initially meditative and coloured with some beautiful “Weird discords and minute Scherzando Touches.”

    Chisholm describes the melody of Blown Spume, as “chattering along with biting accents.” The final movement With Cloggs On becomes increasingly rhapsodic finally expends itself in glissandi and exciting presto.

    £14.50 only

  • Electra Sonata

    £2.50 in PDF format.
    This undated piece of pastiche is in the genre of the exhibitionist transcription indulged in by virtuoso pianist-composers. Chisholm might well have become a virtuoso pianist but in the context of his real compositional achievements this is simply a bombastic curiosity.

    £2.50 only

  • Four Elegies

    £3.00 in PDF format.
    Béla Bartók was a friend of Chisholm and his influence can be directly heard in this superb suite of miniatures. Black, dour and lugubrious textures dominate in movements, which triumphantly fuse quintessentially Celtic motifs with highly individualistic harmonies.

    One can well understand why Chisholm has been referred to as ‘MacBartók’.

    £3.00 only

  • Harris Dance

    £2.00 in PDF format.
    Harris Dance is an outstanding example of the depth of the composer’s understanding of Scottish and, in particular, Highland Scottish traditional music. The variety of texture and rhythm is astonishing.

    Extract from review by Calin Scott-Sutherland:- "Here in the brief Harris Dance the accent is certainly on the more highland aspects of Gaelic melody, the clashing harmonies cloaking the melody with splashes of Peploe-like colour."

    £2.00 only

  • Scottish Airs

    £3.50 in PDF format.
    Murray McLachlan suggests in his programme notes that this collection of Scottish Airs can be considered as Chisholm’s response to Bartók’s Improvisations on nine Hungarian Peasant Songs. Each movement is strongly characterised by material, which isobviously Scottish in spirit.

    The nine Airs strike different moods: playful (scherzando in the third Air), humorous (seventh Air), grandiose (Airs one and six), to wistful (Airs two, five and eight).

    They are all a delight to play and to hear.

    £3.50 only

  • Scottish Airs for the Children (Easy Pieces)

    £9.50 in PDF format.
    All of these Airs were drawn from Patrick MacDonald’s A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs, published in 1784. Chisholm wrote on the title page an alternative title "Scottish Airs: easy pieces", with the further intention of publishing them in three graded volumes, for which he had drawn up lists. The manuscript is undated, but the Airs were probably composed in the 1940’s when he was still in Scotland.

    These are settings of great beauty, and sensitivities enhanced, rather than diminished, by the directness and simplicity of treatment required for children. The writing for the left hand is particularly good, developing different kinds of independent motion without compromising the melodies, whose quality and variety is unsurpassed.

    They are absolute classics of their kind and their neglect is incomprehensible.

    £9.50 only

  • Sonatina in G

    £8.25 in PDF format.
    The Sonatina shows sensitivity for colour, a joy of impressionistic textures, and a mischievous streak in places. Chisholm delights in carefree expansion, leading to many a surprising offshoot, episode and tailpiece. Formally the piece is straightforward (Sonata form 1st movement, ternary 2nd movement and text book rondo form for the 3rd.)

    Perhaps the most beautiful moment comes at the very opening, though even in the busiest passages, there is always pianistic mastery and tactile pleasure for the performer to enjoy.

    £8.25 only

  • Petite Suite, Air from the McDonald Collection

    £2.50 in PDF format.
    Chisholm projected various different presentations of his setting of Airs from Patrick MacDonald’s collection. The Isle of Harris is in the Outer Hebrides; Harris Dance is at a steady tempo.

    In the Mermaid Song, Chisholm has stretched the range of this tune and covered its gentle repetitions with trills and liquid charms.

    The title of the last piece, Och o ru u, consists of meaningless vocals, though “och” is usually associated with an expression of sorrow.

    £2.50 only

  • "Portraits" Six Pieces for Piano

    £10.50 in PDF format.
    In the original score, Portraits subtitled “Six Pieces for Piano” has as its sixth piece Four Spectres in Dance which continues the tragic and haunting story of the fifth piece, in which Suss, condemned to death, speaks to his daughter Malmi.

    £10.50 only

  • Scenes From Browning's Pippa Passes

    £7.00 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    No 1. Morning
    No 2. Noon

    £7.00 only

  • Straloch Suite for Piano Solo

    £9.00 in PDF format.
    The Straloch Suite was completed in 1933 in arrangements for both orchestra and string orchestra (an archival recording of this is available) as well as piano. The printed suite here has five movements; other scores have three movements as does the recorded version, but all are based upon tunes from the Robert Gordon of Straloch lute book of 1627, which is now lost.

    £9.00 only

  • Tango

    £1.00 in PDF format.
    Chisholm was nothing if not versatile and his Tango, fulfills all the usual ballroom expectations of its day, with ‘pulsating rhythm’ and a yielding, yet urgent melodic line.

    £1.00 only

  • Three Studies

    £4.25 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    Study 1 Moderato é cantabile
    Study 2 Moderato é expressivo

    £4.25 only

  • The Wisdom Book

    £2.00 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    1. He comes in with his 5 eggs and 4 of them rottin...
    2. Better ane bird in ye hand than two in the bushe.
    3. None so deaf as he who will not hear
    4. Let him that’s cauld blow at the cole
    5. As the old coke crawls, the young coke learnes
    6. Better bairnes greet than beardit men
    7. Weapons bode peace
    8. The tortoise and the hare
    9. He who permits?
    10. Quha can sing sa merrie a not as he-yt hes not woth a groate?
    11. Set a beggar on horsbak and he will run his hors out of breth
    12. None so deaf (alternative version) 13. Better bunnies greet than bearded men

    £2.00 only

  • Suite No. 1 for Piano

    £8.25 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    No. 1 Caprice
    No. 2 Feuillet D’Album
    No. 3 Scherzo
    No. 4 Waltz
    No. 5 Moto Perpetuo

    £8.25 only

  • Suite No. 2 for Piano

    £10.25 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    No. 1 Prelude
    No. 2 Caprice
    No. 3 Chopsticks
    No. 4 Intermezzo
    No. 5 Finale

    £10.25 only

  • Suite No. 3 for Piano

    £2.75 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    No. 1 Ballet

    £2.75 only

  • Dance of the Princess Jaschya-Sheena

    £1.00 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    1. Orientale

    £1.00 only

  • Highland Sketches (Six Small Piano Pieces)

    £3.00 in PDF format.

    £3.00 only

  • Peter Pan (A Little Piano Suite)

    £3.75 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    No. 1 Peter
    No. 2 Wendy
    No. 3 The Crocodile
    No. 4 Tinkerbell
    No. 5 Captain Jas Hook

    £3.75 only

  • From The True Edge of the Great World

    £17.00 in PDF format.
    The title refers to the Hebridean Islands which are thought by some to represent Ultima Thule, or The Edge of The World. Chisholm very probably got the idea for this whole group of preludes from Amy Murray, an American, from whose book Father Allan’s Island he got all the tunes except for the prelude Rudha Ban.

    Orchestrated versions of nine of the preludes were first performed by the BBC Scottish Orchestra in 1949, and conducted by Chisholm himself.

    These are much more than simple settings of traditional melodies. As the term “Preludes” implies, they are more in the form of meditations or improvisations on some aspect of a melody which may only appear in full once in the whole piece.

    £17.00 only

  • Dunedin Suite

    £7.50 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    No. 1 Prelude
    No. 2 Sarabande
    No. 3 Caprice
    No. 4 Strathspey
    No. 5 Jig

    £7.50 only

  • Ceol Mor Dances

    £7.00 in PDF format.
    Movements:

    No. 1 Poco Adagio
    No. 2 Allegretto scherzandro
    No. 3 Allegretto grazioso
    No. 4 Allegro moderato

    £7.00 only

  • Piobaireachd for Solo Piano

    £17.75 in PDF format.
    The whole work consists of twenty-three short pieces which have been recorded over 3 later Music for Piano series CDs only one of which has been released. It is devoted to Chisholm’s setting 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 called Ceol mor, the “Big Music”. Chisholm’s approach to this remarkable genre is deeply informed by its technical idiosyncrasies.

    He had the knowledge and pianism for this but he respects the tradition of pace and embellishment, though treating the drone element with inventive harmonic freedom.

    £17.75 only

  • "E Praeterita" First Sonatina for Piano

    £3.00 in PDF format.
    Chisholm composed six sonatinas, with the overall title, E Praeterita meaning “From the Past.” Three movements of Sonatina 1 are stated by Chisholm to be Diferences on O Gloriosa Domina by Luis de Narvaez who flourished c1538. The theme is presented with contrapuntal clarity and variety of texture, appearing in the left hand in the second movement, sombre in the Lento and, in the concluding movement, given fluent fugal treatment of the highest quality.

    £3.00 only

  • Second Sonatina for Piano

    £2.75 in PDF format.
    The opening Allegro of the Second Sonatina is after a Fantasia for Lute by Luis de Milan c1535; and is essentially a prelude to his second movement, treatment of a Jakob Obrecht Agnus Dei from his Missa Sine Nomine. Chisholm’s ability to find the splendour in the clean, almost modest lines of his model without any sense of unwanted exaggeration, demonstrates how much he is technically at home and emotionally at ease in this neo-classical idiom, both as a composer and a pianist.

    £2.75 only

  • Third Sonatina for Piano

    £3.25 in PDF format.
    Third Sonatina on four Ricecars is a tour-de-force of bravura, texture counterpoint and superb chording. The term “Ricecar” means to “research” but is not the meaning here. These are more properly preludes preparing us for the next piece. The first movement is a Prelude, the second an Adagio. The third Ricecar is essentially a three part invention strutting self-confidently, indeed joyously. The final movement announces itself with majesty and proceeds to a subtle toccata-like Allegretto.

    £3.25 only

  • Fourth Sonatina for Piano

    £1.00 in PDF format.
    This is one of the six Sonatinas that make up E Praeterita, which was inspired by acient and obscure motifs from the pre-classical era. Most of the equations and thematic fragments used in the cycle are taken from the Spanish lutenists, such as Dalza and Spinaccio. Chisholm’s sonatinas branch out from free transcription becoming affectionate commentaries on the original material they use, rather than mere arrangements. Number 4 is especially charming.

    £1.00 only

  • Fifth Sonatina for Piano

    £2.50 in PDF format.
    Chisholm’s accomplished contrapuntal writing more than honours the style of Conrad Pauman’s original of 1452 based on a traditional love song, Mitganczen Willen. The coventional turns and gestures are given enlivening chromatic colouring by Chisholm, and the rhythms are enhanced by subtle contrasts between legato and stoccato.

    £2.50 only

  • Sixth Sonatina for Piano

    £4.00 in PDF format.
    The opening Basse Danse is initially based quite closely on Claude Gervaise’s La Volunte of around 1550, but Chisholm extends the treatment with lively inventiveness. The Aria derived from a Gervaise Pavane d’Angleterre was originally inspired by the courtly dance of the peacock. Chisholm’s harmonies have their own fine logic that stays true to the fundamentals.

    £4.00 only

  • Sonata in A, A Rhiobain Dearg

    £19.75 in PDF format.
    This long lost Piano Sonata was performed by McLachlan at the Wigmore Hall in 2004 in celebration of the composer’s centenary, and subsequently recorded twice on CD.

    Purser writes “Nothing like this extraordinary adventure in pianism has been penned before or since, Chisholm himself excepted. Not even the extravagances of a Sorabji or the bravura textures of a Busoni can account for the pianistic colour of this work derived almost entirely from Scottish sources.”

    £19.75 only

  • Airs from the Patrick MacDonald Collection

    £11.25 in PDF format.
    All bar the last of these Airs were drawn from Patrick MacDonald’s Collection of Highland Vocal Airs, of 1784. Chisholm came into a copy of this as a boy and it stayed with him for the rest of his life, heavily annotated and used extensively for his Celtic Song Book, for piano pieces and other works.

    £11.25 only

  • Viewed From A Starpoint

    £1.25 in PDF format.
    This is one of a large and superbly crafted group of early works for piano by Chisholm, most of which were written when he was a teenager in Glasgow. His understanding of pianism, sensitivity for colour and his technical mastery-admittedly within rather conventional limitations, can be heard at once in this highly effective quasi-orchestral piece.

    Chisholm was fascinated by astronomy, and there are some celestial splashes of luminous sonority which are especially impressive.

    £1.25 only

  • Dance Bachanal
    (A Riot In Colour)

    £3.50 in PDF format.
    Dance Bachanal is a bold piece, as brash as its title, and calling for a virtuosic outburst of energy which here it certainly receives.

    It is full of directions to the performer, several suggesting orchestral colours, but less inventive in terms of its textures than most of his later work. It was completed in 1924 and was also planned in an orchestral version.

    £3.50 only

  • Piano Concerto No. 1

    £6.25 in PDF format.

    Movements
    No. 1 Molto Moderato
    No. 2 Allegro scherzandro
    No. 3 Adagio
    No. 4 Allegro con brio

    His first piano concerto takes the Piobaireachd, the traditional music of the Highland bagpipes, as the basis for its themes. The work had its first performance in Edinburgh in 1938 conducted by Ian Whyte with the composer as solist. What strikes one the most is the individuality of its sound-world (the orchestral realisation of the bagpipe music is spellbinding, with extremely original scoring).

    £6.25 only