The continuation of the Dunelm series of Piano music of Eric Chisholm from Divine Art opens with The Bells of Perth, an impressive polytonal picture, indeed of an atonal intensity. It is one of a total of 8 „Piobaireachd“ a kind of free fantasy on Scottish Highland melodies. These 8 pieces (two pieces in the series are lost and even the final one offered here has only been partly saved) are comparable in mood and quality with the 9 pieces on the fourth cd in the series. Here again we have a rich spectrum of expression of emotional power up to the totally tonal arpeggio of the “Lament for the Lost Harp Tree” a very sensual and erotic piece.
Of Chisholm’s 6 Sonatas the first and second are to be found on CD3, the third on CD 4 and this CD has his three last (each with three movements) – – Sonatas 5 and 6 and the Scottish Sonata. The latter two are undated – but certainly after 1945. The headings show Chisholm the counterpointer. He largely builds on material from the 13th and 16th centuries while the middle movements are astonishing transformations of essentially complex lyrical pictures of intricate texture.
Murray McLachlan succeeds perfectly with the outstanding interpretations that we saw in CDs 1– 4. Apparently he recorded the contents of CDs 3 -5 in 5 days in December 2006 which is in itself a remarkable technical and impressive musical achievement. The recording quality is perfect, the booklet excellent (even if its only in English) and I can only repeat that this series of Chisholm’s work can be highly recommended.
Interpretation 4/5; Sound quality 3/5; Repertoire 4/5; Booklet 4/5