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The Gardener of Aleppo - chamber works by John Pickard

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-2461 SACD
Release date2020-05-01
Orig. sample rate88200Hz
Total time79:22

Four previous releases on BIS have all featured John Pickard’s music for large orchestra – or, in the case of the Gaia Symphony (BIS-2061), large brass band. This new disc, on the other hand, presents scorings ranging from a solo oboe to a chamber ensemble of eight players. The seven works cover just over 30 years; the earliest one, Serenata Concertata, was Pickard’s first paid commission written at the age of twenty. In his liner notes, Pickard notes that he has an aversion to repeating himself: ‘so each new work tends to be a reaction against the character, structure and technique of the previous one… The result has been a body of work with a wide expressive range and this disc gives some indication of that. The pieces on it are grouped in a broad progression from the serious to the more lighthearted.’

The two opening works are indeed inspired by serious matters – the background to The Gardener of Aleppo is the war in Syria, while Daughters of Zion, the only vocal work on the disc, sets a text that reflects on anti-Jewish aspects of certain Early Christian celebrations. In the latter work, Susan Bickley joins the players of the celebrated Nash Ensemble, who go on to lighter fare in Three Chicken Studies (Pickard himself has kept chickens as pets) and Ghost Train, a perpetuum mobile built on a cantus firmus derived from the Dies iræ theme. For this and the other chamber ensemble pieces the conductor Martyn Brabbins, a longtime collaborator of Pickard’s, wields his baton.
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 19.03
Extra material for download
  Composer: Pickard, John
  The Gardener of Aleppo
01 The Gardener of Aleppo, for flute, viola and harp 11:08 $ 2.71 USD
  Daughters of Zion
02 Daughters of Zion, for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble 08:06 $ 1.97 USD
03 Snowbound, for bass clarinet, cello and piano 10:16 $ 2.51 USD
  Serenata Concertata, for solo flute and chamber ensemble 20:35
04 Cadenza I 03:20 $ 0.81 USD
05 Aria I 04:30 $ 1.08 USD
06 Scherzo-Notturno 04:33 $ 1.09 USD
07 Cadenza II 02:13 $ 0.53 USD
08 Aria II 05:59 $ 1.50 USD
  Three Chicken Studies, for solo oboe 04:20
09 I. Laying 01:46 $ 0.44 USD
10 II. Feeding 01:30 $ 0.37 USD
11 III. Fighting 01:04 $ 0.32 USD
  The Phagotus of Afranio, A Capriccio for bassoon and piano
12 The Phagotus of Afranio 10:26 $ 2.54 USD
  Ghost-Train, for chamber ensemble
13 Ghost-Train 12:40 $ 3.16 USD
  Album total 79:22
ComposerPickard, John
FluteDavies, Philippa
ViolaDickinson, Scott
HarpWakeford, Lucy
Mezzo-sopranoBickley, Susan
Chamber ensembleNash Ensemble
Bass clarinetRobertson, Martin
CelloBrendel, Adrian
PianoBrown, Ian
OboeHulse, Gareth
BassoonLeveaux, Ursula

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