John Pickard

Mass in Troubled Times

BBC Singers, Chloë Abbott, David Goode, Martyn Brabbins

Barcode: 7318599926513
Release Date: 03/11/2023

Previous BIS releases by John Pickard have mainly featured instrumental compositions. This recording presents another facet of the British composer’s work, with compositions for choir under the direction of Martyn Brabbins as well as two instrumental pieces. The five short Latin motets as well as Ozymandias, Pickard’s opus 1, can be described as ‘occasional pieces’ composed during the composer’s 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, Mass in Troubled Times is an ambitious work bearing witness to a context of global uncertainty. The Mass is a collaboration with writer Gavin D’Costa, 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 Chloë Abbott to shine, and Tesserae for solo organ, with its dazzling virtuosity, played here by the work’s first performer, David Goode, complete this disc.