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Chisholm: Simoon / Ryan, Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland

Release Date: 11/18/2016 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34139   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Erik Chisholm
Performer:  Philip SheffieldJane IrwinDamian ThantreyCharlie Drummond
Conductor:  Ian Ryan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Simoon- the violent, hot wind that blows in the North African desert- gives its name to August Strindberg’s psychological drama, published in 1889 and later described by the Glaswegian composer Erik Chisholm as ‘exciting and frightening’. Third in a triptych of operas which the composer wrote after his move to South Africa in the late 1940s, his adaptation of Strindberg’s play evokes the desert setting through a blend of the Hindustani scales he had studied in wartime India and a skillful use of free twelve-tone technique, but was never performed with orchestra in his own lifetime. Restored here to full color, this terrifyingly compact fifty-minute work reveals Chisholm’s ability to create music of extraordinary sensuality in which the Read more senses are hideously deceived, the intense exoticism both beautiful and a parody of its own beauty. Psychologically brutal, its sensuality feeds upon death, whil its subject matter was as thoroughly topical in its own time as it is resonant today, turning as it does on a confrontation between faiths and on the consequences of colonial aggression. Simoon presents no easy answers, but this brave work gives powerful expression to powerful emotions and beliefs; it is an undoubted twentieth-century masterpiece. Read less

Works on This Recording

Simoon by Erik Chisholm
Performer:  Philip Sheffield (Tenor), Jane Irwin (Soprano), Damian Thantrey (Baritone),
Charlie Drummond (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ian Ryan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; South Africa 

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