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John McCabe

Publisher: Novello & Co

Pueblo (1986)
Novello & Co Ltd
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
7 Minutes

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Programme Note
John McCabe Pueblo (1986)
The original version was premiered by Leon Bosch in 1990 at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and was recorded on the Meridian label.

This score has been annotated and edited by Richard Dubugnon, to whom the composer is grateful. The first performance of the revised version was given on 20 June 2000 in the Conway Hall, London, by Richard Dubugnon.


Pueblo is an off-shoot of a series of compositions inspired by desert country, and it was commissioned by Leon Bosch with the aid of funds provided by North West Arts. The piece is continuous, falling into several sections, and is largely based on the high circling motif heard at the start and referred to again in harmonics at the close.

It is prefaced by the following quotation from Scenes in America Deserta by Reyner Banham, published by Thames and Hudson:

"Clouds, high and flat, were now building up in the sky, the wind was settling to silent calm, the weather was very cold, and the stream through the center of the pueblo was almost frozen across, the Indians chipping out ice to melt down for water."

The aim in writing the piece was to express in musical terms a response to the vivid picture of a scene relating to life in the American desert conveyed by Reyner Banham's text. Although not numbered among other Desert works, this belongs to this family of compositions, along with another Banharn setting, written earlier for the King's Singers, Scenes in America Deserta.

© 1999 by John McCabe

  • Soloist(s)
    Leon Bosch, double bass; Sung-Suk Kang, piano
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