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John McCabe

Publisher: Novello & Co

A Sounding Chord (2011)
Novello & Co Ltd
Year Composed
3 Minutes
Programme Note
John McCabe A Sounding Chord (2011)
Commissioned by Novello & Company Ltd. for a concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 20th September 2011 celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of Novello. The first erformance was given by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by David Hill.

Rather than writing a conventional fanfare for a momentous occasion (a concert celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of Novello & Co.), I decided to write what is in effect a short Prelude to the concert. The title, A Sounding Chord, refers to several inter-connected aspects of the music: the idea of a single chord going through the piece and sounding in different rhythms, the communal nature of music-making when the concept only becomes real when it is heard (i.e. played or sung), and the relationship of the main theme, and therefore the fundamental chord, with the natural harmonic series. Beginning and ending quietly, it builds to a vigorous central climax, but the essential impulse behind the piece is actually reflective.
© Copyright 2011 by John McCabe

A Sounding Chord proved typically evocative, suggesting the sun rising before animated figures lead to animated writing that rolls the music to a sonorous then evanescent conclusion.
Colin Anderson,,20/11/2011
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