TOBIAS PICKER (b.1954): 4 Etudes for Ursula, Old and Lost Rivers, 3 Pieces, Where the Rivers Go, ...when soft voices die..., The Blue Hula, Keys to the City for 2 Pianos.
Catalogue Number: 09K096
Reference: WER 6695 2
Description: Picker's individual brand of highly concentrated romanticism and formidable technique in writing for the piano finds a natural outlet in this recital by his career-long friend and interpreter, Oppens. Picker doesn't shy away from jazzily appealing or lushly romantic material; tonal references are omnipresent, even when heavily overlain with other techniques, not excluding creatively employed dodecaphony. An interesting aspect of Picker's compositional life is his integration of his Tourette's Syndrome into his musicality, a subject discussed briefly but revealingly in the recent book 'Musicophilia' by well-known popularizer of neuropsycology Oliver Sacks. It is probably not far-fetched to detect traces of this in the tumultuous rapid fire of ideas that characterises works from the earliest (...when soft voices die...) to the most recent (the stunning Four Etudes). The two-piano version of Picker's "12-tone Rhapsody in Blue" concerto is as lively and varied as the city of New York that it depicts, an episodic tone poem reflecting the city's many moods. Ursula Oppens (piano), Tobias Picker (second piano).