Chisholm: Simoon / Ryan, Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland

Release Date: 11/18/2016
Label: Delphian
Catalog Number: DCD34139
Composer: Erik Chisholm
Conductor: Ian Ryan
Orchestra/Ensemble: Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

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