Following its European release on Wergo in June, Tobias Picker - Keys to the City sees its North American release on September 9, distributed by Harmonia Mundi. Featuring pianist Ursula Oppens, this comprehensive recording traces an evolution in Tobias Picker's writing for piano from the virtuosic challenges of his Four Etudes for Ursula and the jazzy, urbane landscape of Keys to the City to the lyrical simplicity of Old and Lost Rivers, ... when soft voices die ..., and The Blue Hula. Listeners will also have a rare opportunity to hear the composer performing in the two piano version of Keys to the City. Picker comments:
My life-long friendship with the legendary pianist Ursula Oppens began in 1973. I was 19. She was 29. We met in New York when she attended a performance of an early chamber concerto of mine. Ursula was the principal pianist for Speculum Musicae, then the premier new music ensemble in the United States. I heard her perform often and saw a great deal of her socially as she, along with many other renowned musicians, was also a friend of my composition teacher at the time, Charles Wuorinen. A few years later during a post-concert party at the pianist Paul Jacob’s New York apartment following Speculum’s premiere of my Sextet No.3, Ursula took me aside and asked me if I would write a piece for her. I was 22 and thrilled to have another commission. That piece would become “…when soft voices die…”.
Upcoming for Tobias Picker this season is the world premiere of the new reduced version of his wonderful family opera Fantastic Mr. Fox based on the beloved Roald Dahl story at Dicapo Opera Theatre in New York in December as well as the world premiere of his String Quartet No. 2. by the American String Quartet at Merkin Concert Hall in New York on January 17.
To learn more on the music of Tobias Picker visit www.tobiaspicker.com and www.schott-music.com.
To order Tobias Picker - Keys to the City, go to www.wergo.de or purchase at your favorite online retailer.
Tobias Picker - Keys to the City
Four Etudes for Ursula *
Old and Lost Rivers
Three Pieces *
Where the Rivers Go *
... when soft voices die ...
The Blue Hula *
Keys to the City (version for two pianos)*
* First Recordings