Nashville Symphony: Tobias Picker's Opera Without Words and The Encantadas
Tobias Picker, hailed as “a genuine creator” by The New Yorker, has written extensively for the stage and for symphonic forces, and these two approaches are represented in this album. The Encantadas (an older name for the Galápagos Islands) derives from a novella by Herman Melville. Picker has set it as a melodrama, exploring the enchanted isles in all their quietly menacing and spectacular beauty. In a radical new form, Picker’s Opera Without Words is set to a libretto by Irene Dische that has now been removed, allowing the music alone to bear the expressive richness and intensity of this “secret opera”.
Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox is an opera in three acts with a libretto by Donald Sturrock based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel of the same name. It was premiered by Los Angeles Opera, Peter Ash, conductor, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA, on December 9, 1998. This acclaimed recording, released by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, led by Gil Rose, won the 2020 GRAMMY for Best Opera Performance.
Invisible Lilacs: Chamber Music 1976-2011
Invisible Lilacs: Chamber Music 1976-2011 presents four powerful and original pieces of chamber music spanning four decades of creative activity (1976-2011). Brilliantly performed by some of the most accomplished musicians in NY, Invisible Lilacs features chamber masterworks by one of America's major compositional voices.
Passion, Love, Fire! Beautiful spanish melodies and words expressed with the mezzo-soprano voice, the piano, and the guitar. PASIÓN features the world premiere recording of Tobias Picker's Cuatro Sonetos de Amor, performed by Kirstin Chavez and pianist Paolo André Gualdi.
Keys to the City
Works for Piano
New York City native Tobias Picker was described by the "Wall Street Journal" as "our finest composer for the lyric stage" and by BBC Music Magazine as "displaying a distinctively soulful style that is one of the glories of the current musical scene."
This CD with mostly first recordings will make an invaluable contribution to the discography of contemporary American music.
To order your copy of Tobias Picker - Keys to the City, go to www.wergo.de or purchase at your favorite online retailer.
American Music of the XXth Century
Virgin Classics has re-released Tobias Picker's Old and Lost Rivers on a disc titled "American Music of the XXth Century." Old and Lost Rivers is performed by the Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.
The other works on the disc include Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, Aaron Copland'sFanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring, and Leonard Bernstein's Candid andSymphonic Dances from "West Side Story".Buy this recording
*Also available from iTunes as an mp3 or a ringtone.
Songs and Encores
Judith Bettina performs the songs of Tobias Picker and others on this new Bridge Records CD, with James Goldsworthy on piano. Songs featured are Picker's Native Trees, To the Insects, Half a Year Together, When We Meet Again,, and not even the rain, all of which were dedicated by the composer to Ms. Bettina (Bridge 9199).Buy this recording
Tobias Picker: Symphony No. 2 / String Quartet No. 1
First Edition Records has just rereleased the Houston Symphony Orchestra's recordings of Tobias Picker's Symphony No. 2 and String Quartet No. 1, with Sergiu Commisiona conducting (First Edition FECD-0029).
Picker's second symphony, commissioned for the Houston Symphony and dedicated to Sergiu Comissiona, takes its name from a poem by Goethe on the power of music to restore an awareness of beauty to senses that have become dulled by stress and everyday cares. The string quartet, subtitled "New Memories," was commissioned by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival to celebrate the centennial of Georgia O'Keeffe's birth.Buy this recording
Picker: Keys to the City/ And Suddenly it's Evening/Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
This CD features premiere recordings of Tobias Picker's Cello Concerto and his symphony, And Suddenly It's Evening.In 1982 Tobias Picker received a commission for a work celebrating the centenary of Brooklyn Bridge, which became his piano concerto, Keys to the City. And Suddenly It's Evening (1994) was commissioned by a consortium of US youth orchestras, and the title is taken from a brief poem by Salvatore Quasimodo. Picker's Cello Concerto was commissioned by the BBC and first performed at a London Proms concert in August 2001.(Chandos 10039)Buy this recording
The world premiere recording of the opera Thérèse Raquin has been released by Chandos (CHAN 9659). This CD features the live recording of the Dallas Opera's premiere production in November 2001, conducted by Graeme Jenkins. Featured performers include Diana Soviero, Sara Fulgoni, Gordon Gietz, Richard Bernstein, Sheryl Woods, Gabor Andrasy, and Peter Kazaras.Buy this recording
EMMELINE (the Opera) is available on the Albany Records label. This CD features the live recording of the world premiere production at The Santa Fe Opera in 1996. Along with availability at many record stores,EMMELINE can be purchased directly from Albany Records at 1-800-752-1951.Buy this recording
Keys to the City
KEYS TO THE CITY was commissioned by the City of New York for the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was first performed on May 24, 1983 at Fulton Ferry Landing , under the Great Bridge, before an unprecedented audience of two million people during a gala celebration of the bridge's centennial, as a prelude to one of the most spectacular fireworks displays New York has ever seen. Tobias Picker performed the solo piano part in this his second of three piano concerti and continues to perform the concerto with major orchestras. He is also heard as soloist on this recording. The art work on the CD is taken from the official poster by Andy Warhol, commissioned by the City of New York for the occasion. (Composers Recordings Inc./CRI CD554)Buy this recording
Tobias Picker: Symphony No. 2 (Aussobnung)/String Quartet No. 1 (New Memories)
In 1985 Picker was commissioned by the Meet the Composer Residencies Program in cooperation with the Houston Symphony to write a large work for orchestra. He decided upon a symphony developed from his previously written song AUSSÖHNUNG (Reconciliation) to a poem of Goethe. Picker's SECOND SYMPHONY is a "big" work, worthy of the genre and incorporating a compelling dramatic design of seven movements flanked by a prelude and a postlude -- all of which inventively elaborate material found in the exquisite seventh movement for soprano and orchestra. The album also contains the composer's STRING QUARTET No 1 ("New Memories"). (WEA/Atlantic/Nonesuch 79246)
Tobias Picker: Symphony No. 2 (Aussobnung)/String Quartet No. 1 (New Memories)
Picker's VIOLIN CONCERTO dates from 1981, while the chamber works on this disk (WHEN SOFT VOICES DIE, RHAPSODY, SEXTET No. 3, and ROMANCE) are from the late seventies. In his early music, Picker began to give voice to an uninhibited Romantic streak, one that is eager to subvert any tendency toward over systematization so prevalent at the time. A tension between rigorous, disciplined structure and an impassioned, seemingly intuitive surface lends Picker's music its distinctive character. (Composers Recordings Inc./CRI CD589)
THE ENCANTADAS, narrated by Sir John Gielgud, was commissioned by the Albany Academy to celebrate its one hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary and was first performed by the Albany Symphony in October 1983. Herman Melville's The Encantadas was first published in 1854. Melville had visited the Galapagos Islands in 1841, just six years after Darwin's famous voyage there. Picker's six movements depict their 'enchanted' quality, not just the bleakness but also the romance, the strangeness, the wild beauty, and in the forth and fifth movements, the busy bird life. The final movement, Dawn, displays Picker in his most lyrical and transcendent voice. THE ENCANTADAS has been performed throughout the world and translated into seven languages. (EMD/Virgin VCL-0061519)
Music for the Soul
Music for the Soul, A program for Re-Enchantment, Selections by Thomas Moore, Author of Care of the Soul "...use this music...meditate to it, sit with it and hear it with a friend...solid food for the soul." --Thomas Moore
This CD, on the Angel label, includes Tobias Picker's famousOLD AND LOST RIVERS. (Angel 56402)
If you want to purchase a recording containing OLD AND LOST RIVERS,please see "Old and Lost Rivers" (on EMD/Virgin, above) or "The Five Sacred Trees" (on Sony Classical, below)
Williams: The Five Sacred Trees (Bassoon Concerto) / Takemitsu: Tree Line / Hovhaness: Symphony No. 2, Op. 132 "Mysterious Mountain" / Picker: Old and Lost Rivers
This CD, on the Sony Classical label, is a collection of reflective, meditative pieces, conducted by John Williams, and featuring Tobias Picker's OLD AND LOST RIVERS, as well as compositions by John Williams, Toru Takemitsu, and Alan Hovhaness. (Sony Classical 62729)
Ursula Oppens: American Piano Music of Our Time
Nominated for a Grammy and reviewed in Time Magazine when originally released, this collection, both volumes of which contain Tobias Picker's OLD AND LOST RIVERS, has been reissued by popular demand.
Volume 1 of this collection, on the Music and Arts label (CD-4862-2), also includes compositions by Conlon Nancarrow, William Balcom, Elliott Carter, Michael Sahl, Julius Hemphill, John Adams, Lukas Foss, David Jaggard, Frederic Rzewski, Charles Wuorinen, John Harbison, and Anthony Davis.
Volume 2 of this collection (CD-4699-1) also includes compositions by Nancarrow, Rzewski, Harbison, and Davis.