Anything following that is written within quotation marks is from Monica, John’s widow, and with thanks to her for research assistance.

John McCabe passed away at “roughly ten past midnight, so I suppose it counts as 14th February, just. I had promised him a Valentine card, so I went out and bought him one anyway, and I’ve kept up the custom ever since.”

Symphony No.4 (‘Of Time and the River’; 1993-94); BBC Philharmonic conducted by Clark Rundell; June 22, 2004; Royal Northern College of Music…

Footnote: BBC commission with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. First performance: March 16, 1995; Melbourne SO/Vernon Handley (who recorded it with the BBCSO for Hyperion). UK premiere: May 17, 1995; BBCSO/David Atherton.

Cello Concerto (‘Songline’). First performance; Truls Mørk/Hallé/Mark Elder; January 17, 2008, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester…

Footnote: “On the first performance, the broadcast one, fortunately delayed broadcast, Truls’ music slipped slowly and gracefully to the floor while he was playing the cadenza (or around there). Mark Elder held the clarinet until she was purple in the face, while he stepped off the podium, picked it up and replaced it, and then the performance continued without a pause. Cool, eh! The BBC were able to snip out the hiatus and make a perfect performance.”

The Chagall Windows (1974); premiere by the Hallé & James Loughran on January 9, 1975); the following performance is by the London Philharmonic & Bernard Haitink, as broadcast; November 20, 1975; Royal Festival Hall…

Footnote: This Haitink-conducted performance, “which is glorious”, is also on an LPO CD (minus the radio announcement) coupled with John’s Concerto for Orchestra conducted by Georg Solti. (There is also a recording of Windows by the Hallé and Loughran for EMI/Warner.)

BONUS TRACK: John plays Haydn, the final movement of the A-flat Piano Sonata (Hob.31), from his Decca set…

http://www.johnmccabe.com/