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John Pickard: Symphonies 2 & 6; Verlaine Songs



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John Pickard is best known for his powerful orchestral and instrumental works, and his music has been widely praised for its large-scale sense of architecture and bold handling of an extended tonal idiom. This recording brings together three works composed over a period of almost forty years, providing a glimpse of the composer's creative range. The Second Symphony, completed when Pickard was 23, is an extremely impressive and concentrated work. Its starting point was John Hersey’s book Hiroshima, which describes how vegetation quickly reasserted its presence amid the city’s ashes. The Verlaine Songs feature six poems by the French poet Paul Verlaine. Chosen for their broad range of expression, the poems were grouped in an order that provides dramatic contrast and an overall progression of mood. The cycle was composed for the soprano Emma Tring, with her particular vocal characteristics very much in Pickard’s mind. The Sixth Symphony, which completes this recording, was composed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is dedicated to Robert von Bahr, founder of BIS Records. After a first movement dominated by a feeling of unease, the second offers relief from the darkness. This recording was the work’s first performance.
Information
Catalogue number BIS2721
Barcode 7318599927213
Release date 03/05/2024
Category
Label BIS Records
Format SACD (Ecopak)
Number of discs 1
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