NMC Recordings Logo TM
Simon Holt:
a table of noises

Hallé, Nicholas Collon conductor
Colin Currie percussion - Chloë Hanslip violin

NMC D218

D128 Cover
This fourth, full-length album of music by multi award-winning composer Simon Holt on NMC showcases his highly narrative orchestral compositions.   His violin concerto witness to a snow miracle — here performed by the prodigiously talented Chloë Hanslip — depicts the story of the life, and particularly gruesome death, of St Eulalia of Merida.   From the initial, frenzied cadenza in the solo violin we get a sense of the torment and horror the saint suffered at the hands of the Romans: her flesh torn with hooks, flames applied to the wounds, and her body buried in hot coals. A blanket of snow fell on her ashes, at which point she was declared a saint.

Holt's other award-winning concerto on this album is a much more upbeat and quirky affair.   Written for and performed on this recording by one of the world's finest percussionists, Colin Currie, a table of noises introduces us to Holt's taxidermist great uncle Ashworth, a kind of maverick scientist-cum-collector.   Currie says “this percussion concerto exuberantly tears up the manual on how to approach the medium and I am thrilled with the idiosyncratic, adventurous results.”   The soloist is seated on a cajon (a box-shaped instrument often used in flamenco), and apart from the xylophone and glockenspiel, all the other instruments are laid out on a table in front of the soloist; hence the title.   Each brief movement has a descriptive title (eg. a drawer full of eyes discovered by Holt's mother in Ash's bedroom tallboy) and Skennin' Mary (a neighbour with a glass eye that spun when she became angry) and is linked by five “ghost” orchestral interludes.

The short, dazzling, orchestral work St Vitus in the kettle was commissioned by BBC National Orchestra of Wales during Holt's tenure as Composer-in-Association (2008-2014).   The grisly end for this saint was a cauldron of boiling hot lead!

a table of noises
01. JUTE     3'30
02. ghost one     0'37
03. fly     3'35
04. ghost two     1'03
05. a drawer full of eyes     2'38
06. ghost three     0'57
07. Skennin' Mary     4'11
08. ghost four     1'31
09. table top / ghost five     6'02
10. under glass     3'37
Colin Currie percussion • Hallé •
Nicholas Collon conductor
11. St Vitus in the kettle     5'56
Hallé • Nicholas Collon conductor

witness to a snow miracle
12. Eulalia of Merida     2'05
13. the tearing, the burning     3'17
14. flames become birds     3'26
15. snowfall on ashes     4'17
16. witness     3'12
17. torments     3'10
18. halo     3'52
Chloë Hanslip violin • Hallé •
Nicholas Collon conductor

Total timing:     57'13

NMC Recordings are distributed in Australia by
Rockian Trading, P.O.Box 44, Briar Hill, Vic, 3088, Australia
Telephone (03) 9432 4149 ~ Facsimile (03) 9444 6879