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Tobias Picker: Piano Quintet 'Live Oaks'; Invisible Lilacs; Nova; Sextet No. 2 'Halle's Ravine'

Album Summary

>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Nova, for piano quintet
>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Invisible Lilacs, for violin & piano
>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Sextet no 2 "Halle's Ravine"
>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Live Oaks, for piano quintet
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Born and raised in NYC, Tobias Picker is one of the world's smost renowned and respected compsers. He has written a wide variety of music ranging from solo piano to full orchestra, but ismost known for his colorful operas. Picker's work is laways lyrical, with a great expressive range, touching upon both tonality and atonality. This CD presents forou powerful and original pieces of chamber music spanning foud decades of creative activity (1976-2011). Brilliantly performed by some of the most accomplished performers in NY, Invisible Lilacs features chamber masterworks by one of America's major compositional voices.

Notes & Reviews:

The music of Tobias Picker is not easy to pin down to a particular style, method, or school of thought, but even at its most enigmatically modernist, it is usually accessible to attentive listeners. This album of four chamber works is an excellent introduction to Picker's sound world, as well as being a survey of a sufficiently long period to demonstrate the consistency of his approach over his career. The opening Nova, for piano quintet (1979), is highly energetic and densely chromatic, though its gestures are easy to grasp, and the overall feeling of the piece is open, energetic, and passionate. So, too, is the Sextet No. 2, "Halle's Ravine" (1976), which offers a more colorful mix of violin, oboe, clarinet, cello, piano, and percussion, along with its appealing interchanges of quick and slow music. Invisible Lilacs, for violin and piano (1991), offers a richer and darker side of Picker, and in some ways this is the most expressively hermetic and melodically angular piece on the disc, revealing little of Picker's lyrical neo-Romanticism. The Piano Quintet, "Live Oaks" (2011), is in six ambitious movements, and Picker's fast and active music propels the work forward with genuine excitement. The Tobias Picker Ensemble plays with assurance and complete understanding of every part, so there never seems to be an obscure passage or loose end. Tzadik's recording is quite close-up and resonant, so the musicians have great presence and clarity. ~ Blair Sanderson



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Works Details

>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Nova, for piano quintet
  • Ensemble: Tobias Picker Ensemble
  • Running Time: 2 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1979

>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Invisible Lilacs, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Nathaniel Lanasa (Piano); Keir Gogwilt (Violin)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1991

>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Sextet no 2 "Halle's Ravine"
  • Ensemble: Tobias Picker Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1976

>Picker, Tobias [Composer] : Live Oaks, for piano quintet
  • Performer: Sarah Rothenberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2011