Robert Saxton’s ‘Little Prelude for John McCabe’ from the Divine Art CD ‘Garland’ reviewed
Colin Clarke thus accounts that this ‘disc mixes up the combinations of the four instrumentalists involved, with occasional tuttis. One such tutti is Robert Saxton’s evocative A Little Prelude for John McCabe, another piece which plays with the letters of its dedicatee’s name (the last four, in this case, acting as a cantus firmus). One of the most aurally beautiful contributions, Saxton’s piece is all the more eloquent through its simplicity of compositional means, the overlapping descending fragments leading to a final, radiant, consonance. Skempton’s Highland Song exudes the nostalgic regret of music of that territory while, indeed, nodding to McCabe’s connection to Haydn (the latter composer’s Scottish Songs). Tender and febrile, Skempton’s piece settles for a low dynamic, restrained yet utterly heartfelt, and beautifully performed here with utter control by Turner, Merrick, and Vennart.’
We at the press would like to congratulate Saxton on such a wonderful review and hope that many of you will take the opportunity to purchase this CD which holds a cacophony of pieces, written in dedication to John McCabe.
(26 Jul 2018)