John Pickard: Symphonies 2 & 6; Verlaine Songs Emma Tring, BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Martyn Brabbins

Cover John Pickard: Symphonies 2 & 6; Verlaine Songs

Album info



Label: BIS

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Vocal

Artist: Emma Tring, BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Martyn Brabbins

Composer: John Pickard (1963)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • John Pickard (1913 - 1993): Symphony No. 2:
  • 1Pickard: Symphony No. 226:49
  • Verlaine Songs:
  • 2Pickard: Verlaine Songs: I. Chanson d'automne03:17
  • 3Pickard: Verlaine Songs: II. Spleen02:41
  • 4Pickard: Verlaine Songs: III. Marine02:13
  • 5Pickard: Verlaine Songs: IV. Le squelette03:56
  • 6Pickard: Verlaine Songs: V. L'heure exquise03:00
  • 7Pickard: Verlaine Songs: VI. Le soleil d'or02:56
  • Symphony No. 6:
  • 8Pickard: Symphony No. 6: I.11:28
  • 9Pickard: Symphony No. 6: II.16:29
  • Total Runtime01:12:49

Info for John Pickard: Symphonies 2 & 6; Verlaine Songs

John Pickard is best known for his powerful orchestral and instrumental works, and his music has been widely praised for its large-scale sense of architecture and bold handling of an extended tonal idiom. This recording brings together three works composed over a period of almost forty years, providing a glimpse of the composer's creative range. The Second Symphony, completed when Pickard was 23, is an extremely impressive and concentrated work. Its starting point was John Hersey’s book Hiroshima, which describes how vegetation quickly reasserted its presence amid the city’s ashes. The Verlaine Songs feature six poems by the French poet Paul Verlaine. Chosen for their broad range of expression, the poems were grouped in an order that provides dramatic contrast and an overall progression of mood. The cycle was composed for the soprano Emma Tring, with her particular vocal characteristics very much in Pickard’s mind. The Sixth Symphony, which completes this recording, was composed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is dedicated to Robert von Bahr, founder of BIS Records. After a first movement dominated by a feeling of unease, the second offers relief from the darkness. This recording was the work’s first performance.

Emma Tring, soprano
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Emma Tring
studied Music at Bristol university and GSMD and is now a successful soloist and ensemble singer in the UK and abroad.

Emma has performed operatic roles with European Chamber Opera (Micaela and Frasquita), I Fagiolini (The Little Match Girl, Fairy Queen and King Arthur), Park Opera (Despina), BBC Singers (Dido and Sycorax), West London Opera (First Lady), Sloane Square Opera (Belinda). She has sung ensemble and chorus with Music Theatre Wales and BBC Singers under conductors including Martyn Brabbins and John Adams.

As a soloist she has premiered several works by composers including Michael Finnissy, Gabriel Jackson, John Carollo, John Pickard and Andrew Toovey.

She has performed as soloist with the LSO, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Nu Civilisation Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, Britten Sinfonia, The Hanover Band, RPO, AAM and St James Baroque, as well as Choral Societies around the UK.

Emma joined the BBC Singers in 2008 as one of their full-time sopranos and appears regularly with them as ensemble singer and soloist. In the BBC Proms season Emma was soloist in Duke Ellington's Sacred Music with Nu Civilisation Orchestra conducted by Pete Edwards, and at the Last Night of the Proms she sang solo in Laura Mvula's Sing to the Moon which was live on BBC television and radio.

Emma is also a member of vocal ensemble EXAUDI with whom this year she sang in The Hunting Gun by Thomas Larcher at the Aldebergh Festival; in Hologram Madrigal Opera with Opera Erratica at Operagarden Festival and Malta Festival; Berio's Sinfonia with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Susanna Mälki.

She has performed widely with I Fagiolini and has worked with Britten Sinfonia voices, The Clerks, The Scholars and The Sixteen.

Emma is a keen recitalist and recently formed Alexandra Ensemble with her husband Robin Martin, specialising in contemporary music.

They will premiere Michael Finnissy's Motets for voice and violin at St. John's Upper Norwood in April 2020.

Booklet for John Pickard: Symphonies 2 & 6; Verlaine Songs

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