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Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, January 2016

…[John McCabe’s] piano music is obviously of great significance in his output, and this is a good sampling. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Paul Driver
The Sunday Times, London, December 2015

This selection from the piano oeuvre of the late composer includes his sinewy Variations and 12-tone Five Bagatelles. © 2015 The Sunday Times

Michael Church
BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

This British composer-pianist was both admired and promoted by John Ogdon, and here we see why: his music was intriguing, intricately-woven and, though largely atonal, easy on the ear. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2015

…we get a fascinating look at John McCabe thinking through his own modern approach to form and content on the pianoforte, using the instrument and his apparent love and understanding of the instrument to unveil structures that adhere within themselves more than they point outward to other musics.

A strong volume that any modern classical enthusiast should find intriguing. Very recommended! © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

John France
MusicWeb International, September 2015

The playing by John McCabe is beyond fault. The ambience of the recording is perfect. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Guy Weatherall
Classical Music, September 2015

Reappearing in the light of the composer’s death earlier this year, this recital is valuable both as a survey of his work in the genre and a demonstration of his formidable gifts as an exponent. Of the two large sets of variations, the 1963 work which opens the disc is both direct and immediately appealing; the set inspired by his hero Haydn may be a more challenging listen but it repays repeated listening. Shorter studies and bagatelles are equally convincing, and…recorded sound is very fine. © 2015 Classical Music Read complete review

Kate Molleson
The Guardian, August 2015

John McCabe was a musician of steely, graceful intellect. His scores were never fussy, never used too many notes, but were expansively and explosively powerful. © 2015 The Guardian Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2015

Last December I was welcoming a disc of orchestral music by the much neglected composer, John McCabe, this new release covering four of his major piano scores. He worked both as a composer and outstanding concert pianist, and it was the quantity of keyboard music that dominated his output, the present release mainly devoted to his younger years when he was still largely working on the fringe of atonality. His guiding light had been the works of Karl Amadeus Hartmann, who in turn had been influenced by Reger and Bruckner, and it was with Hartmann he wanted to study. Maybe that Germanic scenario did not fit easily into the British music establishment in the early 1960’s, and many felt that he was never given the support he should have received. Variations played an important part in his output, those rather quirky ones from 1963—which open the disc—being a taste of the extensive and imposing Haydn Variations from twenty years later. By then he was flexing his musical muscles, the result being a score of outgoing virtuosity that is largely atonal, yet one finds Liszt in its demands on the performer. His own account, recorded in 1998, oozes with brilliance and agility, the quick variations finding his fingers as flexible as in his younger days. Between the two works are three studies—Aubade, Gaudi and Mosaic—which were parts of an ongoing series, each one also intended to stand on its own. From the soporific Aubade to Gaudi, with its early use of note clusters, Mosaic’s title is a highly descriptive, small motifs making up the whole work. Back to his early days with cameos forming the Five Bagatelles of an unusual nature. The 1998 sound is uncommonly good, and the performances must be counted as a benchmark. My enthusiastic recommendation. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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