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John Pickard Symphony No.5


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Author Topic: John Pickard Symphony No.5  (Read 622 times)
calyptorhynchus
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« on: June 04, 2016, 03:18:52 am »

BBC Radio is premiering John Pickard's Symphony No.5 this week.

I will record it and post it here with my usual technical limitations.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 12:21:29 pm »

I should point out that while posting an off-air recording will certainly be welcome the work is being recorded by BIS immediately after the concert. A commercial release will therefore follow (hopefully) very soon.
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tapiola
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 02:31:33 pm »

Very soon is hughly doubtful.   Maybe by 2020.  So a download would be very welcome!
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 05:33:14 pm »

Very soon is hughly doubtful.   Maybe by 2020.  So a download would be very welcome!

The last three cds of music by John Pickard were released by BIS a year after they were recorded.I do not think that John would be happy with a delay of four years Roll Eyes

Of course the recording of the performance would be welcome-as I acknowledged-but I would equally hope that as many as possible who take to the music will purchase the cd in due course.
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calyptorhynchus
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 11:19:22 pm »

I should point out that while posting an off-air recording will certainly be welcome the work is being recorded by BIS immediately after the concert. A commercial release will therefore follow (hopefully) very soon.

Duly noted. I only know Pickard's symphony no.2, a good work, but rather deficient in our old friends p, pp and ppp.

 Smiley

Interesting to hear whether this one is any quieter.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 03:04:07 am »

The new Symphony No.5 has been commissioned from John Pickard by John Grimshaw, the Chairman of the Havergal Brian Society. John Pickard dedicated his String Quartet No.5 to John Grimshaw but the latter's reciprocity is an act of amazing generosity Smiley

As for quieter than No.2.........I doubt it; the new symphony has three timpanists with four drums each Grin
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relm1
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 03:52:45 pm »

The new Symphony No.5 has been commissioned from John Pickard by John Grimshaw, the Chairman of the Havergal Brian Society. John Pickard dedicated his String Quartet No.5 to John Grimshaw but the latter's reciprocity is an act of amazing generosity Smiley

As for quieter than No.2.........I doubt it; the new symphony has three timpanists with four drums each Grin

That is very nice and I am a big fan of John Pickard so this sounds tantalizing.   
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calyptorhynchus
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 10:29:04 pm »

OK, just about to upload it.

I found it better than Symphony No.2, with quieter passages, and even a bird-song type passage!

In fact I found in listening to it there was a very strong programme coming through. What I heard was one continuous movement with opening and closing fastish stretches of music (though a quiet end to the whole piece) and in the middle a fascinating mixture of a slow movement and scherzo, with slow passages interspersed with scherzo-like flurries.

To my mind the symphony was a description of thundery weather, with two main thunderstorms (first and last movements) and lull in between with squalls and scuds and times when the storm seemed to be dying out entirely (bird-song).

it would be amusing if the inspiration was something completely different.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 10:40:28 pm »

OK, just about to upload it.

I found it better than Symphony No.2, with quieter passages, and even a bird-song type passage!

In fact I found in listening to it there was a very strong programme coming through. What I heard was one continuous movement with opening and closing fastish stretches of music (though a quiet end to the whole piece) and in the middle a fascinating mixture of a slow movement and scherzo, with slow passages interspersed with scherzo-like flurries.

To my mind the symphony was a description of thundery weather, with two main thunderstorms (first and last movements) and lull in between with squalls and scuds and times when the storm seemed to be dying out entirely (bird-song).

it would be amusing if the inspiration was something completely different.

I can ask John, if you like Grin

Thanks for the upload Smiley
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 12:26:06 pm »

A magnificent symphony-full of that grim "Nordic" intensity which I find so appealling and with all these drums...... Smiley
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calyptorhynchus
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2016, 10:54:16 pm »

Sure is magnificent. And as usual, finding a recording such as this has sent me off buying recordings by the composer. Toccata's SQs 1, 5 downloaded yesterday, great stuff, and there's a few more downloads and disks of Pickard's music to add to my must-buy list.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2016, 02:10:46 pm »

I emailed John Pickard to congratulate him on his new symphony. In my email I (hesitantly) drew paralells with late Sibelius and, in particular, 'Tapiola'. I expressed the hope that this would not offend him-one never knows quite how a composer might respond to such comparisons Grin

John tells me that I was "spot-on". There are quite deliberate allusions to-not of course direct quotes from-both 'Tapiola' and the Symphony No.7. What John was trying to do-and extremely successfully I think-was to blur the distinction and unite the contrasts between static and dynamic forms, as exemplified by these two late compositions by Sibelius:

"Are we listening to fast music that is being directed across a slow timescale, or to slow music that is internally agitated? That ambiguity is at the heart of my Symphony and at the end the tensions become so great that the structure shatters into fragments." (JP)

Now I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about musical technique (even after all these years Embarrassed) to have identified this myself but it is so helpful when the composer himself points out what he was trying to do Smiley
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ahinton
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2016, 04:12:57 pm »

I emailed John Pickard to congratulate him on his new symphony. In my email I (hesitantly) drew paralells with late Sibelius and, in particular, 'Tapiola'. I expressed the hope that this would not offend him-one never knows quite how a composer might respond to such comparisons Grin

John tells me that I was "spot-on". There are quite deliberate allusions to-not of course direct quotes from-both 'Tapiola' and the Symphony No.7. What John was trying to do-and extremely successfully I think-was to blur the distinction and unite the contrasts between static and dynamic forms, as exemplified by these two late compositions by Sibelius:

"Are we listening to fast music that is being directed across a slow timescale, or to slow music that is internally agitated? That ambiguity is at the heart of my Symphony and at the end the tensions become so great that the structure shatters into fragments." (JP)

Now I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about musical technique (even after all these years Embarrassed) to have identified this myself but it is so helpful when the composer himself points out what he was trying to do Smiley
Well, it certainly impressed me; there's a degree of Nordic truculence about it and something of a sense of late Sibelius meets Pettersson, albeit with no obvious impression that the work actually sounds like the music of either.
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Gauk
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 08:55:43 am »

What John was trying to do-and extremely successfully I think-was to blur the distinction and unite the contrasts between static and dynamic forms, as exemplified by these two late compositions by Sibelius:

"Are we listening to fast music that is being directed across a slow timescale, or to slow music that is internally agitated? That ambiguity is at the heart of my Symphony and at the end the tensions become so great that the structure shatters into fragments." (JP)

Now I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about musical technique (even after all these years Embarrassed) to have identified this myself but it is so helpful when the composer himself points out what he was trying to do Smiley

Hah, he got that idea from Robert Simpson!
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mjkFendrich
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 10:32:24 am »

You can find a little bit more about Pickard's 5th symphony (including programme notes) here:

http://5against4.com/2016/06/08/john-pickard-symphony-no-5-world-premiere/

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