TOBIAS PICKER (b.1954): Nova for Piano Quintet, Invisible Lilacs for Violin and Piano, Sextet No. 2 for Ensemble "Halle's Ravine", Piano Quintet "Live Oaks" (Sarah Rothenberg [piano], Brentano String Quartet).
Catalogue Number: 04P087
Reference: TZ 9007
Description: Fine and distinctively original works spanning more than three decades, showcasing the evolution of Picker's blend of impassioned lyricism and dramatic dynamism. The 1976 Sextet is thornily modernist, a young composer's music influenced by the uncompromising aesthetics of Carter, Wuorinen and Sessions. Largely atonal, its three movements are in constant motion. Nova reworks the piece, placing its original harmonies in a far more tonal context, and with a greater sense of continuity. This is essentially Picker's mature idiom; Invisible Lilacs (the title borrowed from an evocative sentence of Proust) displays the same harmonic density and passion, with a strong sense of lyrical flow. Live Oaks is described by the composer - not inaccurately - as "practically a piano concerto". Tough, concentrated music, its six strongly contrasted movements seem to spell out a dramatic, epic narrative, in an approachable idiom of extended tonality and unrelenting emotional intensity. Tobias Picker Ensemble.