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20391195
20391195
19.99
20391195

Erik Chisholm: Simoon

By Charlie Drummond

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By Charlie Drummond, Damian Thantry, Ian Ryan, Jane Irwin, Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland, and Philip Sheffield. By Erik Chisholm. Country of Origin: United Kingdom. Classical. CD (1 disc). Published by Naxos (NX.DCD34139).

Item Number: NX.DCD34139

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.

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