Colin Currie, Indianapolis Symphony in North
American Premiere of Torke’s Percussion Concerto,
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.
|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.”
|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.
|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