Music of Tobias Picker
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR589     Release Date: 1991-01-01

Rolf Schulte, violin; American Composers Orchestra; Paul Dunkel, Conductor; Tobias Picker, piano; Speculum Musicae: [Benjamin Hudson, violin; erry Grossman, cello; Donald Palma, bass; Michael Parloff, flute; JRichard Fitz, percussion; Ursula Oppens, piano; Joseph Passaro, Conductor]; Aleck Karis, piano; Linda Quan, violin

Like so many others of his generation, Tobias Picker (b 1954) found his compositional persona within an academic environment that preached the virtues of twelve-tone technique. But although Picker embraced the method, he never allowed himself to be confined by it. In his music, he gives voice to an uninhibited Romantic streak, one that is eager to subvert any tendency toward systematization. That tension between rigorous, disciplined structure and an impassioned, seemingly intuitive surface lends Picker’s music its distinctive character.

While still a teenager, Picker realized that what he most needed was the means to channel his strong emotions into a coherent discourse. “I recognized very early one of my leading personality traits, total irrationality, and I recognized that I needed as much discipline as I could possibly get. So I didn’t need a teacher who encouraged self-expression; if anything, I needed someone to discourage it.” Picker, therefore, sought out teachers who would emphasize strict pre-compositional planning. Ultimately, he ended up studying with all three pillars of the American rationalist triumvirate Charles Wuorinen (at the Manhattan school), Elliott Carter (at Juilliard), and Milton Babbitt (at Princeton).

It was Wuorinen who was most influential, for he taught Picker a formal, schematic approach to twelve-tone composition that offered the young man the discipline he sought. Yet Picker, although delighting in his new found compositional control, never became a slave of the system. Instead he crafted scores as notable for their innate emotionality as for their impeccable structure.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Music of Tobias Picker

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Track Listing

Violin Concerto: I. quarter-note = 108
Tobias Picker
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Violin Concerto: II. quarter-note = 66-72
Tobias Picker
Buy
Violin Concerto: Interlude
Tobias Picker
Buy
Violin Concerto: III. quarter-note = 92
Tobias Picker
Buy
When Soft Voices Die
Tobias Picker
Buy
Rhapsody
Tobias Picker
Buy
Sextet No. 3: I. Maestoso, con licenza
Tobias Picker
Buy
Sextet No. 3: II. quarter-note = 40
Tobias Picker
Buy
Sextet No. 3: III. quarter-note = 108
Tobias Picker
Buy
Romance
Tobias Picker
Buy