A touching and generous gesture by the Manchester-based record company ASC Records sees a special commemorative compilation CD released in March 2016 on their Prima Facie label, record number PFCD 044. Consisting partly of reissued material, the CD also contains the hitherto unrecorded Requiem Sequence (written in memory of Sir John Barbirolli and Alan Rawsthorne) and the Irish Song Book (settings of great Irish poetry) performed by Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano) accompanied by Richard Uttley (piano). Another previously unrecorded work is the haunting Desert IV: Vista, for solo recorder, performed by John Turner, for whom it was written.
Also on the CD are two a cappella choral works, Visions, and Siberia, setting poems by the tragic Irish poet, James Clarence Mangan, performed by the William Byrd Singers directed by Stephen Wilkinson, who was responsible for the original commissions. Two dances taken from McCabe’s ballet, Mary, Queen of Scots, written for the Scottish Ballet and choreographed by Peter Darrell, are also included. The Courtly Dance for Queen Elizabeth, and Riccio’s Lute Dance are performed by the Northern Chamber Orchestra directed by Nicholas Ward. Finally, there is a performance by John McCabe himself, of Rawsthorne’s Theme and Four Studies, a work discovered among the composer’s papers, after his death.
This warm-hearted and moving tribute has been supported by the RVW Trust, and also by kind individual supporters, whose generosity is greatly valued.