John Pickard: Vocal Works
Label: TOCCATA CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Lepper, Simon; Williams, Roderick; Daniell, Eve
The English composer John Pickard (b. 1963) is best known for a series of powerful orchestral works, five symphonies among them. But this album of songs – his complete output for voice and piano to date – demonstrates that he can generate drama on a smaller scale, too. These settings – of two less familiar poets of the First World War, often exploring man’s relationship with nature, and a translation of a ninth-century Anglo-Saxon phantasmagorical allegory – encompass a wide range of moods, requiring soaring vocal lines, declamatory authority and the gentlest intimacy, supported by piano textures that can flare up in freewheeling virtuosity.