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Colin Currie, Indianapolis Symphony in North American Premiere of Torke’s Percussion Concerto, Rapture

November 2002

On Thursday, November 21, David Alan Miller conducts noted soloist Colin Currie and the Indianapolis Symphony in the North American premiere of Rapture, Michael Torke’s concerto for percussion and orchestra. The program at the Hilbert Circle Theatre is repeated on November 22 and 23. The composer will participate in master classes and pre-concert talks in conjunction with these performances.

through rhythm
Rapture takes as its keynote one of W.B. Yeats’s later poems, ‘News for a Delphic Oracle,’ in which the poet describes a mythic and transcendent sexual state, a kind of rapture: ”...Those Innocents re-live their death...Through their ancestral patterns dance.”
linking soloist
and orchestra
The concerto takes a bold and strikingly original approach to the medium: each rhythmic pattern in the solo part is doubled by a fixed combination of orchestral instruments, creating an uncanny interplay of timbre and pulse. ”The soloist gives an edge, a pronouncement, to the notes from the orchestra, and the orchestra gives a context and a melodic value to the rhythms the soloist is playing,” observes Torke. In addition, the soloist plays only drums and wood instruments in the first movement, mallets in the second, and metal instruments in the third, for a distinctive progression of colors.
three first
Rapture forms the centerpiece of a new disc on Naxos, to be released in January 2003 as part of the label’s American Classics Series. Currie is the soloist, with Marin Alsop conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which commissioned the piece. The Naxos disc also includes Torke’s buoyant tone poem An American Abroad, and his lush concert opener Jasper, inspired by the verdant countryside of Wisconsin, the New York-based composer’s native state.

Copyright © 2002 Michael Torke