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Classical - Released July 7, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Born in 1963, the British composer John Pickard is best known for a series of powerful orchestral and instrumental works, among which five symphonies and several other orchestral works of symphonic dimensions. His music has been widely praised for its large-scale architectural sense and bold handling of an extended tonal idiom. Raving reviews include The Strad’s for one of his String quartets, “one of the best pieces of British chamber music to be heard for years”, while the American Record Guide deemed a recording of his orchestral pieces as “a treasure” with “superb works in wonderful readings”. The BBC Music Magazine called the composer “a born master of the orchestra” and named Channel Firing “one of the finest British works of the 1990s”. The same magazine reviewed another orchestral recording as “one of the most important contemporary orchestral CDs of 2013”. The Gramophone uses such words as “simply stunning” and the International Record Review ‘warmly recommends it to anyone who still doubts the medium’s symphonic potency’. Need more ? So the listener can just sit back and enjoy Pickard’s exceptional four works presented on this album, which show strongly contrasting characters and musical techniques, as the composer has “always tried to bring variety to [his] work by setting myself new challenges in terms of structure, harmony and extra-musical subject-matter. Repeating oneself holds little appeal, so each successive work tends to be a reaction against its immediate predecessor rather than a conscious continuation of its techniques, moods or aesthetic concerns”. The energetic Fifth symphony, composed 2014, is in stark contrast to Sixteen Sunrises (2013) in which Pickard borrows half a bar from Lohengrin before allowing the sun to rise and fall sixteen times within fourteen minutes – multiple and hyper-fast sunrises as seen from the International space station, one might imagine. The Concertante Variations for chamber orchestra and intended as a “light-hearted divertimento that poses no profound questions and is designed purely for enjoyment”. The album closes with a Toccata from Monteverdi’s Orfeo for modern instruments: oboes, soprano saxophone, bassoons, brass and lower strings, with addition of some tuned percussion instruments. ©SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 17, 2017 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica

Symphonic Music - Released February 28, 1996 | BIS

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Classical - Released October 6, 2017 | Orchid Classics

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Classical - Released May 27, 2016 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet

Symphonic Music - Released June 1, 2004 | BIS

Symphonic Music - Released October 1, 2003 | BIS

Symphonic Music - Released March 31, 2000 | BIS

Classical - Released April 30, 1997 | BIS

Classical - Released June 30, 1995 | BIS