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Naxos Releases Sneak Preview of Michael Torke Disc in Time for US Concert Premiere
Nationwide Release in January

November 11, 2002

FRANKLIN, TN — On January 21st, Naxos will release a disc of music by Michael Torke on the label's heralded American Classics Series. Performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conducted by Marin Alsop, this recording includes the works Torke wrote for the orchestra as composer in residence including Jasper, An American Abroad, and the percussion concerto Rapture, with Colin Currie as the soloist.

The music of Milwaukee-born and New York-based composer Michael Torke has been called "some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years" (Gramophone). Hailed as a "vitally inventive composer" (Financial Times) and "a master orchestrator whose shimmering timbral palette makes him the Ravel of his generation" (New York Times), Michael Torke has created a substantial body of works in virtually every genre, each with a characteristic personal stamp that combines restless rhythmic energy with ravishingly beautiful melodies.
Rapture, Torke's percussion concerto, was inspired by the poetry of W.B. Yeats and utilizes all manner of percussion timbres including Drums, Woods, Mallets and Metals. A thrilling work melding elements of classical, jazz and ancestral drum patterns into a single piece, the concerto, according to Torke, "excites a kind of rapture that unites the religious with the sexual"
This disc marks the fifth Naxos release by Marin Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Deemed "a shooting star in the firmament of International conductors," (Penguin Guide to Compact Discs), Ms. Alsop has been hailed by critics around the world for her ongoing series of orchestral music by Samuel Barber with the RSNO. Twenty-six year-old percussionist Colin Currie has been the recipient of the Gold Medal in the London Symphony Orchestra's Music Scholarship Competition and the first percussion finalist in the BBC Musician of the Year Competition. Maestra Alsop remarks about the project, "Colin Currie is an extraordinary talent on display in Torke's new Concerto. Torke's music has a justifiably wide appeal and this album showcases his exuberant and confident style at its best."
The release of this disc will come shortly after the US premiere of Rapture by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The Indianapolis performances are scheduled for November 21st-23rd and also will feature Colin Currie as soloist. In March of 2003 An American Abroad will receive its US premiere with a performance by the Albany Symphony Orchestra and David Alan Miller in New York. This recording will be made available exclusively to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for the performances this month. Nationwide release of the title will follow on January 21st.
The Naxos American Classics Series is the most ambitious recording project of American concert music ever attempted. Currently numbering at over 80 recordings, the series is expected to encompass well over 200 titles upon completion and will feature all of the composers who have contributed to the rich tapestry of American Music.

About Naxos of America: Since 1987, Naxos has redefined how classical music is presented and marketed. Innovative strategies of recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent have enabled the label to develop one of the largest and fastest growing catalogues of unduplicated repertoire available anywhere-currently over 2200 titles-with state-of-the-art sound and the consumer-friendly price of $7.99 per CD.
Naxos of America, the Leader in Independent Classical Music Distribution in the U.S., is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Naxos, Marco Polo, CPO, dacapo, Ivory Classics, CBC Records, Proprius, Analekta, The Children's Group, Arthaus DVD, BBC/Opus Arte DVD, TDK DVD, Naxos Jazz, Naxos World, Naxos AudioBooks and Amadis record labels and is a wholly owned subsidiary of HNH International.

Copyright © 2002 Michael Torke