A McCabe work for double choir, commissioned by the Hallé Choir, will receive its world premiere on 14th December 2014 at Hallé St Peter's, with the Hallé Choir, accompanied by Jonathan Scott on the organ, conducted by Madeleine Venner. Entitled Christ's Nativity, it is a setting of a poem of that name by Henry Vaughan, long a favourite poet of McCabe’s.
Amazingly the work, composed in the spring and early summer of 2014, was written against not just one, but two overwhelming difficulties as McCabe, already struggling with an aggressive brain tumour, unfortunately ran into massive difficulties with his computer fighting his software programme. Having upgraded his computer, he found that the two were now incompatible, but was locked into soldiering on because changing the software programme at that stage was an even worse option. The problems almost precipitated a breakdown, and were in fact probably responsible for later health problems, during the summer and autumn, which will sadly prevent him attending the premiere in Manchester. Following a three-week period in a local hospital (for a deep-vein thrombosis and severe cellulitis) which he has described as probably the worst experience of his life, he is now back home living under hospice conditions. He is, however, regaining his strength, enjoying listening to music, and involved once again with various compositional projects.