Pickard - Mass in Troubled Times | BIS BIS2651

Pickard - Mass in Troubled Times


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Label: BIS

Cat No: BIS2651

Barcode: 7318599926513

Format: Hybrid SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 3rd November 2023

Gramophone Editor's Choice



BBC Singers
Chloe Abbott (trumpet)
David Goode (organ)


Martyn Brabbins


Pickard, John

Ave maris stella
Latin Motets (3)
Mass in Troubled Times
O magnum mysterium
Orion for trumpet and organ
Tesserae for organ


BBC Singers
Chloe Abbott (trumpet)
David Goode (organ)


Martyn Brabbins


Previous BIS releases of works by John Pickard have mainly featured instrumental compositions. This recording presents another facet of the British composerís work, with compositions for choir under the expert direction of Martyn Brabbins as well as two instrumental pieces.

The five short Latin motets as well as Ozymandias, Pickardís opus 1, can be described as Ďoccasional piecesí composed during the composerís student years or for the choir he conducts at the University of Bristol. They display solid tonal grounding and mainly homophonic writing and provide a stepping-stone to some of the more dissonant style found in the latter works. Written for the BBC Singers, whose reputation is well established, the Mass in Troubled Times is an ambitious work bearing witness to a context of global uncertainty. The Mass is a collaboration with the writer Gavin DíCosta, who conceived a complex text based on multiple sources in five languages, combining Western and Middle Eastern religious texts with poetry evoking the plight of refugees. Orion for trumpet and organ, which is partly programmatic, evoking the most splendid constellation and allowing trumpeter ChloŽ Abbott to shine, and Tesserae for solo organ, with its dazzling virtuosity, played here by the workís first performer, David Goode, complete this disc.


Conceived expressly for the superlative skills of the 18-strong BBC Singers, Pickardís rewardingly compassionate creation sets in music of giddy ambition, intrepid emotional scope and movingly reconciliatory power a thought-provoking text assembled by author and lecturer Gavin DíCosta embracing no fewer than five languages... Compelling, too, is Tesserae, a meaty 11-minute offering for solo organ written for [David] Goode and premiered by him at Oxfordís Christ Church Cathedral in May 2009. ... this is a marvellous collection, featuring impeccable production values and sound of flawless realism in the best BIS tradition. Not to be missed!  Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone December 2023

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