John McCabe (1939-2015)
To take you through the night and into another sunrise, John McCabe’s Notturni ed alba; undated performance with soprano Judith Howarth & Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Adrian Leaper.
Jul 20, 2022 | Ramblings, Videos | 2 comments
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Colin, how kind of you! And amazing to hear this again, after so many years! It was performed on 20th/21st April 1999 in honour of John’s 60th birthday, at Preston Guildhall/Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Judith’s voice is glorious, and despite the odd slight intonation problem (it IS difficult) it is a fine performance. She also sang Scheherzade in the same programme – a big sing all round. The RLPO were in excellent form, and Adrian Leaper is a very fine conductor, completely under-rated here (he went off to Spain and had a good career there). It’s a pity that the recording only allows us to hear the loudest bits of the subtle orchestral scoring. Jill Gomez’s performance is still available, though c. 50 years old now. The work was written for Sheila Armstrong, who also sang it gloriously – sad there is no recording. Notturni ed Alba was an immediate hit at the Three Choirs, and was taken up and performed many times, recorded by Fremaux, and performed by Haitink and Previn. Sad that it seems to have disappeared currently.
I looked for the Gomez/Fremaux recording but it has yet to reach YT. Colin