Old City New Image: Chamber Music by McCabe & Ellis
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Label: Prima Facie
Cat No: PFCD096
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 12th April 2019
McCabe and Ellis both came from the Liverpool area, and both attended the famous Liverpool Institute, at the top of Mount Street, in the shadow of the great Anglican Cathedral. Both composers studied with Thomas Pitfield at the Royal Manchester College of Music. Both won the Royal Philharmonic Prize.
While McCabe went on to have a dual career as composer and pianist, Ellis worked from 1964 at the BBC as a music producer, having responsibility for programme planning and administration of the BBC Northern, later Philharmonic, Orchestra. In 1977 he became Head of Music, BBC North. His Trio is also an early work, written in 1954 when he was 21.
His Quartet is the latest of the four works on the CD. It was commissioned by Alun Hoddinott for the Brodsky Quartet, and first performed at the Cardiff Festival of Music, December 1980. McCabe’s Quartet, numbered 2, is in fact the first in all but name, being preceded by a student work, Partita for String Quartet.
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