A Garland for John McCabe

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Howard Skempton, Edward Gregson, Elis Pehkonen, Gary Carpenter, John (Pierre Herman) Joubert, Peter Dickinson, Martin Ellerby, Emily Howard, (Edward) Gerard Schurmann, Christopher Gunning, William Marshall, Robert Keeley, David Matthews, Raymond Warren, James Francis Brown, Robert Saxton, Robin Walker, Anthony Gilbert, Malcolm Lipkin

Genre:

Chamber

Label: Divine Art

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: DDA25166

DDA25166. A Garland for John McCabe

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Highland Song John Turner
Howard Skempton Composer
Linda Merrick
Alistair Vennart
John’s Farewell Peter Lawson
John Turner
Edward Gregson Composer
Lament for the Turtle-Dove Elis Pehkonen Composer
Peter Lawson
Linda Merrick
Edradour Gary Carpenter Composer
Peter Lawson
Linda Merrick
John Turner
Alistair Vennart
Exequy Alistair Vennart
John (Pierre Herman) Joubert Composer
A Rag for McCabe Peter Dickinson Composer
Peter Lawson
John Turner
Alistair Vennart
Linda Merrick
Nocturnes and dawn (Patterdale) Martin Ellerby Composer
Peter Lawson
Alistair Vennart
Outback Emily Howard Composer
Linda Merrick
Peter Lawson
Alistair Vennart
John Turner
Memento Peter Lawson
(Edward) Gerard Schurmann Composer
Danse des Fourmis John Turner
Peter Lawson
Christopher Gunning Composer
Linda Merrick
Little Passacaglia William Marshall Composer
Linda Merrick
John Turner
Peter Lawson
Elegy for John McCabe Peter Lawson
Linda Merrick
Robert Keeley Composer
Chaconne Peter Lawson
Alistair Vennart
David Matthews Composer
Linda Merrick
In nomine John Turner
Raymond Warren Composer
Peter Lawson
Evening Changes Linda Merrick
Alistair Vennart
James Francis Brown Composer
John Turner
A Little Prelude for John McCabe John Turner
Alistair Vennart
Linda Merrick
Robert Saxton Composer
And Will You Walk Beside Me Down This Lane? Robin Walker Composer
John Turner
Peter Lawson
Linda Merrick
Alistair Vennart
The Flame has Ceased John Turner
Alistair Vennart
Peter Lawson
Anthony Gilbert Composer
In memoriam John McCabe Peter Lawson
Linda Merrick
Malcolm Lipkin Composer
Alistair Vennart
Three years on from his death, John McCabe shows no signs of being forgotten. His music is still performed and recorded (including the start of a survey of his complete piano music) and tributes and memorial events such as the present disc continue to appear. Such is the affection for a composer and performer who balanced creative genius and generosity of spirit in equal measure, with nary a trace of ego.

The 19 works collected here, all composed in 2016, form a wonderfully balanced sequence of pieces large (Raymond Warren’s In nomine runs close to eight minutes long; the pieces by James Francis Brown, Joubert, Robin Walker and Elis Pehkonen are around six) and small. Although the prevailing mood is elegiac-to-wistful, encapsulated by Joubert, Gregson, Saxton and Keeley, there are plenty which remember John’s engaging, pithy sense of humour: A Rag for McCabe by Gramophone contributor Peter Dickinson, Brown’s Evening Changes (one of the few ensemble pieces to omit McCabe’s own instrument, the piano) and Christopher Gunning’s delightful Danse des Fourmis (all featuring John Turner’s recorder prominently); Gary Carpenter’s Edradour closes proceedings by celebrating John’s love of single malt whisky!

The musical styles are many and varied, from the formally dramatic, as in Gerard Schurmann’s Memento, the only piece for piano alone, the abstract (David Matthews’s Chaconne, Marshall’s Little Passacaglia), and straightforwardly tonal (Gunning, Skempton), to more complex harmonic tapestries, as in Anthony Gilbert’s The Flame has Ceased. Several works evoke Haydn, whose sonatas McCabe famously recorded in the 1970s and which have remained a benchmark recording ever since, or use musical ciphers derived from McCabe’s name, while Emily Howard’s Outback evokes McCabe’s Desert series. Beautifully performed by all four players and recorded to match, John would have been delighted.

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