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John McCabe

Publisher: Novello & Co

Evening Harmonies (Study No 7: Hommage à Dukas) (2000)
commissioned by the Scottish International Piano Competition as a test piece for 2001
Novello & Co Ltd
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
8 Minutes
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Programme Note
John McCabe Evening Harmonies (Study No 7: Hommage à Dukas) (2000)
Evening Harmonies was commissioned by the Scottish International Piano competition as the test piece for their 2001 Competition, and is the seventh in a series of concert pieces given the generic sub-title of Studies - these are not studies in the tradition of Chopin, Debussy or Ligeti, but rather substantial separate works, ranging from 7 minutes to 14 in length, and exploring various aspects of pianistic or compositional technique. In this case, the music particularly exploits several kinds of pianistic sensibility, and pays tribute to two composers whose work means a great deal to me.

One is Liszt, obviously - the title comes from one of the finest of his Études d'exécution transcendante, the lovely Harmonies du Soir, from which I have borrowed a couple of musical gestures and one tempo marking (as well as the overall shape, though worked out very differently). The other is Dukas, hence the acknowledgement in the subtitle - in particular, his beautiful Prélude élégiaque for piano, his Poème dansé for orchestra, La Péri, and perhaps above all his masterly opera Ariane et Barbebleu, are a constant source of inspiration.

John McCabe

  • Soloist(s)
    Tamami Honma (piano)
  • Soloist(s)
    Classical Rec. Co.:
McCabe here pulls off the not inconsiderable feat of paying tribute to both Liszt and Dukas, reflecting and deflecting their distinctive harmonies, gestures and ideas, without ever approaching any sense of pastiche or plagiarism.
Hilary Finch, The Times,13/01/2012
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