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McCabe: Of Time and the River, Flute Concerto / Handley

Album Summary

>McCabe, John : Symphony no 4 ("Of Time and the River")
>McCabe, John : Concerto for flute & orchestra
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'There has not been a more accomplished first recording of any British orchestral work in recent years. A glorious performance' (Tempo)

'It's hard to imagine a better advocate than the flautist Emily Beynon, such is the breathtaking spontaneity and imagination of her playing here.' (Gramophone)

'This disc offers the most satisfying glimpse yet of McCabe the composer. Excellent performances all round of two very rewarding works' (The Scotsman)

'This is the finest disc yet of the music of John McCabe. Superb performances, vivid recording and ideal notes' (The Guardian)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
John McCabe's Fourth Symphony, some half an hour in duration, has something Sibelian about its utterly inevitable, ever-evolving progress. Behind the frequently prodigal surface activity, one is acutely aware of the inexorable tread of a grander scheme - a preoccupation with time mirrored in Thomas Wolfe's novel Of Time and the River, from which the work derives its subtitle. The very opening idea is momentarily reminiscent of Britten, and there's a magnificent passage in the second movement that recalls Vaughan Williams at his visionary best. Yet McCabe's score possesses a strong individuality, formal elegance and abundant integrity too. With dedication and scrupulous perception, Handley secures a disciplined and alert response from the BBC SO. The engaging Flute Concerto composed for James Galway in 1989-90 proves both resourceful and communicative.

There's much that genuinely haunts here, not least the gently lapping opening idea (inspired by watching the play of waves on a Cornish beach), the ravishing dialogue between the soloist and orchestral flutes and the delightful emergence soon afterwards of an entrancingly naive, folk-like theme. Emily Beynon gives a flawless account of the demanding solo part, and is immaculately partnered by Handley and his BBC forces.



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Works Details

>McCabe, John : Symphony no 4 ("Of Time and the River")
  • Conductor: Vernon Handley
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 1, BBC Maida Vale, London, England (12/15/1998-12/16/1998)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1933

>McCabe, John : Concerto for flute & orchestra
  • Performer: Emily Beynon (Flute)
  • Conductor: Vernon Handley
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 1, BBC Maida Vale, London, England (12/15/1998-12/16/1998)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1989