Saturday, January 19, 2019

John McCabe, Mountains, MINI-Review

Up until now I mainly only focused upon John McCabe (1929-2014) as a talented and interesting composer. Now with this release I hear him as a very able and keenly interpretive pianist. Mountains (Divine Art 28585) gives us a full program of his performances on piano of other Modern music, from other composers. It is in a way a composer's pianist we hear, for he approaches the music, every phrase, as if it were his own. These mountains are carved out in a rough, skewn, rough-hewn way with boldness and deep understanding. And the works are each gems.

There are seven works by seven composers, Peter Sculthorpe, Wendy Hiscocks, David Maslanka. Don Banks, Graeme Koehne, George Rochberg and Barney Childs. Each comes vividly alive in McCabe's hands and then moves on for the next. In the end you are left with a strong impression, a feeling that there has been a superior engagement with some very attractive Modern piano music.

Hear this by all means!

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