A Garland for John McCabe

PETER DICKINSON (b.1934): A Rag for McCabe for Recorder, Clarinet, Viola and Piano, JOHN JOUBERT (b.1927): Exequy for Solo Viola, EDWARD GREGSON (b.1945): John’s Farewell for Recorder and Piano, HOWARD SKEMPTON (b.1947): Highland Song for Recorder, Clarinet and Viola, ELIS PEHKONEN (b.1942): Lament for the Turtle-Dove for Clarinet and Piano, ROBIN WALKER (b.1953): And Will You Walk Beside Me Down The Lane? for Recorder, Clarinet, Viola and Piano, MALCOLM LIPKIN (1932-2017): In Memoriam John McCabe for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, WILLIAM MARSHALL (b.1992): Little Passacaglia for Recorder and Piano, MARTIN ELLERBY (b.1957): Nocturnes and Dawn (Patterdale) for Viola and Piano, ROB KEELEY (b.1960): Elegy for John McCabe for Clarinet and Piano, JAMES FRANCIS BROWN (b.1969): Evening Changes for Recorder, Clarinet and Viola, GERARD SCHURMANN (b.1924): Memento for Piano, ANTHONY GILBERT (b.1934): The Flame has Ceased for Recorder, Viola and Piano, CHRISTOPHER GUNNING (b.1944): Danse des Fourmis for Recorder, Clarinet and Piano, DAVID MATTHEWS (b.1943): Chaconne for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, RAYMOND WARREN (b.1928): In Nomine for Recorder and Piano, EMILY HOWARD (b.1979): Outback for Recorder, Clarinet, Viola and Piano, GARY CARPENTER (b.1951): Ebradour for Recorder, Clarinet, Viola and Piano.

Catalogue Number: 03T081

Label: Divine Art

Reference: dda 25166

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: John McCabe was a national treasure on the British music scene - prolific and masterly composer, sensitive, virtuoso pianist, and teacher, mentor and friend to several generations of composers. Here, nineteen of his peers pay tribute to him - most movingly, but also, by giving of the best and most characteristic of themselves in miniature, revealing what a beloved, broadly-based, inspirational musician and all-round good egg he was. The pieces, while small, are all as long as they need to be, and all say something meaningful about McCabe as well as their own authors. Most are elegiac in mood, but not all; Dickinson, Gunning and Carpenter, for instance, focus on the humour and endearing character of the man. There are some unexpected dramatic surprises, too, from Walker and Howard, and within the obvious constraints of the intentions of the project the works are pleasingly varied in style, mood and instrumentation, such that they work as a program. A number of the composers have constructed musical ciphers or monograms from the available musical note-letters of McCabe's name, and there are references to McCabe's beloved Haydn and works of his own. Everybody will have their own favourites, but it is fair to suggest that any of these pieces deserve an existence as encores at least, and several traverse enough emotional territory over a long enough span to appear on a concert programme in their own right. Linda Merrick (clarinet), John Turner (recorder), Alistair Vennart (viola), Peter Lawson (piano).

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