Driver with Scotsman Chisholm's two concertos

It would be difficult to over-praise this wonderfully enterprising disc. Erik Chisholm was born in Glasgow and his music is steeped in Scottish idioms, rhythms and dances. Ambitious, rich and original (though shadowed by Bartók, a key influence), the exceptionally intricate and demanding solo parts reflect Chisholm's piano studies with Leff Pouishnoff, but also with Tovey and Sorabji (a potent mix). Chisholm had played Bartók's First Concerto but, as John Purser tells us in his accompanying notes, the greater influence comes from the more vernal and reflective Third Concerto. He also goes to some length to explain the seeming oddity of how the first movement of the Pìobaireachd Concerto is based on Maol Donn, a lament for the death of a favourite cow.

The Hindustani Concerto (Chisholm's favourite) reflects the composer's fascination with ragas, which permeate a positive kaleidoscope of ideas marshalled and directed with great daring and compositional skill. The challenge for both soloist and orchestra is immense and it would be hard to imagine playing of a more coruscating brilliance, delicacy and affection. The superb Danny Driver gives his all and is partnered to the hilt by the Scottish conductor Rory Macdonald, making his first appearance on record. Hyperion's balance and sound are exemplary.

Bryce Morrison, Gramophone
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