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Touted as a lost John McCabe recording, this disc acts as a reminder of McCabe’s greatness as a pianist. Recorded in Sydney in 1985, Mountains appears here in a new restoration.

Peter Sculthorpe’s granitic Mountains leaves me wondering why we don’t hear more of this composer’s music. After a splendidly performed Toccata by Wendy Hiscocks, McCabe finds huge beauty in Daniel Maslanka’s Piano Song; the modernity of Don Banks’ Pezzo dramatico similarly finds balm in Koehne’s Impressionist-inspired Twilight Rain.

Rothberg’s Carnival Music is the most extended work here, a brilliant exploration of different popular musics with a post-Bachian arioso at its heart. McCabe offers a fine version to sit alongside the dedicatee’s, Jerome Lowenthal. Finally, Barney Child’s quizzical Heaven to clear when day did close.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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