Renowned pianist Ursula Oppens performs the world premiere of Tobias Picker's Three Nocturnes for Ursula this month at City University of New York's Elebash Recital Hall in Manhattan. A longtime Picker collaborator and close friend, Oppens will also engage in a discussion with the composers featured on the program as part of the concert proceedings.
Picker elaborates on the piece's inception:
After I wrote Old and Lost Rivers in 1986, I dedicated it to Ursula Oppens and left the piano manuscript with her doorman as a surprise on her birthday. In February, 2009 I decided to surprise Ms. Oppens once again and gave her these nocturnes on the occasion of her 65th birthday.
Old and Lost Rivers employs the entire keyboard and wide intervals within the key of D flat major. Three Nocturnes for Ursula explores the key of D Major in a similar way but it has an inner voice whose plaintive melody never strays beyond an octave or so.
Three Nocturnes for Ursula also exists in versions for alto flute, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola and cello all accompanied by piano. In these versions the solo instrument plays the inner melody and the pianist, in the composer's words, "has a much easier time of it!" The concert takes place on Wednesday, November 11 at 7PM.
On November 15, Tobias Picker's opera Emmeline sees its European Premiere in its new chamber orchestration, which just had its world premiere at Dicapo Opera Theatre in September. The European premiere takes place at Hungary's National Theatre and will be broadcast to over 40 countries on Mezzo Television.
For more on the music of Tobias Picker, please visit www.schott-music.com and www.tobiaspicker.com.
Click here for precise ticketing information on the concert.
Three Nocturnes for Ursula (2009)
for solo piano
an opera in two acts
libretto (En) by J.D. McClatchy
for 4 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, dramatic contralto, 2 tenors, 2 baritones, 2 bass and women's chorus