Saturday, February 14, 2015

Howells' Clavichord

Others have written eloquently about John McCabe who died yesterday. I would like to add my own small tribute to his talent as a pianist by reminding readers of his recording of Herbert Howells' two books of keyboard pieces, Lambert's Clavichord and Howells' Clavichord. These affectionate musical tributes by Howells to, among others, Malcolm Arnold, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gerald Finzi, Sir Adrian Boult, William Walton and Edmund Rubbra are really brought to life by John McCabe's exquisite playing. I first wrote about these little-known works in March 2006, and to Hyperion's credit they remains in the catalogue on the budget Helios label. This CD of tributes to underrated musicians itself provides a very appropriate tribute to a remarkable composer and pianist who will be much missed.

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1 comment:

Pliable said...

Leo Carey comments via Facebook:

Yes!! This is the first thing I thought of when I heard McCabe had died. A favorite disc of mine and one I've often given as a gift. Two fascinating eras of English music superimposed on one another. The sense of friendship and intimacy is also very appealing.

To your point in the earlier post about clavichord, I would say I've listened with real pleasure to Thurston Dart's clavichord recordings, reissued here: