Author Topic: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.  (Read 3578 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« on: September 23, 2008, 04:14:13 PM »
Following the deaths in recent years of Sir Malcolm Arnold and Alun Hoddinott the number of reasonably established British composers working broadly within a received musical tradition has further diminshed. Richard Arnell and John Gardner are both now 91 years old.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is very much alive and active, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett less so.

There is a British composer who has produced a very substantial quantity of excellent music in traditional forms-symphonies, concertos-and whose music has slowly become better known through recordings. I am a great admirer of the music of John McCabe and hope that there may be others who have some knowledge of the music or the man.

The best introduction to McCabe is undoubtedly his quite superb website-

http://www.johnmccabe.com/

McCabe is, of course, not only a composer but an extremely skilful pianist; he has recorded the monumental series of Haydn piano sonatas. He is also an excellent writer-among his books is a first-rate biography of the composer Alan Rawsthorne.

John McCabe will be 70 next year and I hope that this birthday will be marked by more recordings of his compositions.

I am not going to spend time describing the music when Michael Kennedy in his article on the website does so much more eloquently than I could. The influences which Kennedy quotes-Bartok, Stravinsky, Nielsen- to whom I would add-Hindemith, Vaughan Williams, Karl Amadeus Hartmann-give some notion of McCabe's sound world. (McCabe has written an orchestral Variations on a theme of Hartmann.)

These are three of my favourite McCabe discs but Dutton have also recorded the Piano Concerto No.2(Sinfonia Concertante) coupled with the Sonata on a Motet and the Concertante Variations on a Theme of Nicholas Maw while Hyperion have a 2 disc set of the Ballet "Edward II".  "Of Time and the River" is McCabe's magnificent Symphony No.4.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 04:14:54 PM »
And-

pjme

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 10:57:16 PM »
Dundonnell, I met John McCabe last August when he gave two concerts in Belgium. Together with Belgian clarinetist/conductor Walter Boeykens ( and his ensemble) McCabe performed Brahms pianoquitet, a darkly haunting Sopnata for clarinet, cello and piano and " Rainforest 1" for 10 instruments,featuring a solo part for Glockenspiel ( superbly played by Leo Ouderits!).

I managed to interview him briefly - the result can be seen at KLARA's website - alas no music... A CD will be out next year.
http://www.klara.be/cm/klara/1.104-searcharticle?directarticle=1.36597&article=1.36597

John McCabe turned out to be an extremely friendly person....I had hoped to do more, but that proved not possible.

Anyway, I enjoy Notturni ed alba very much ( still have the LP...) I look forward to discover symphony nr 4!

Peter

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 02:30:43 AM »
Thank you for the link, Peter!

Although I cannot read Flemish I did see mention in the article of McCabe's Concerto for Orchestra which I had forgotten to mention and which is on a Classico CD coupled with the Hoddinott Concerto for Orchestra.

Yes, McCabe does have the reputation of being, as you say, a nice man :)

karlhenning

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2008, 04:49:54 AM »
What a blast, Peter!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2008, 01:56:58 PM »
Notturni ed Alba and The Chagall Windows are my favourites.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2008, 02:01:06 PM »
If you have not invested in the Dutton disc illustrated above, Jeffrey, I strongly recommend it!

The work on the disc called 'Pilgrim for Double String Orchestra' was written in homage to the memory of RVW and is a moving tribute to the great man!!

greg

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2008, 02:04:37 PM »
He's not running for president?  ???

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2008, 02:10:04 PM »
He's not running for president?  ???

Not as far as I know :) But if a great pianist like Paderewskl can become Prime Minister of Poland...who knows?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2008, 02:25:58 PM »
If you have not invested in the Dutton disc illustrated above, Jeffrey, I strongly recommend it!

The work on the disc called 'Pilgrim for Double String Orchestra' was written in homage to the memory of RVW and is a moving tribute to the great man!!

I have the Dutton disc and have to say that I was rather disappointed by it, but I will try again with it.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline UB

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2008, 05:02:49 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread. I look forward to spemding part of today listening to the music of this fine composer. The first time I heard his music was on the close-out EMI cd I bought from Amoeba Records in Berkeley California over 15 years ago. 'The Chagall Windows and Variations on a Theme of Karl Amadeus Hartmann'   immediately made me a fan.

Right now I am enjoying 'Musica Notturna, for Violin, Viola & Piano.'
I am not in the entertainment business. Harrison Birtwistle 2010

Offline vandermolen

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2008, 09:15:55 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread. I look forward to spemding part of today listening to the music of this fine composer. The first time I heard his music was on the close-out EMI cd I bought from Amoeba Records in Berkeley California over 15 years ago. 'The Chagall Windows and Variations on a Theme of Karl Amadeus Hartmann'   immediately made me a fan.

Right now I am enjoying 'Musica Notturna, for Violin, Viola & Piano.'

I forgot about the Hartmann Variations; a great work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Scion7

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2016, 02:12:44 AM »
Database/thread should be modified to show he passed last year.



First wife, composer Hillary Tann  -  married 1968-1972.
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: John McCabe [1939 - February 2015] - R.I.P.
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 10:26:59 AM »
In the interest of keeping current.

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