Michael Torke: Concerto for Orchestra, Oracle, Bliss, Iphigenia

Michael Torke: Concerto for Orchestra, Oracle, Bliss, Iphigenia—Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Vasily Petrenko; Quad City Symphony/Mark Russell Smith; Univ. of Kansas Wind Ensemble/Paul W. Popiel; Camerata New York/Richard Owen (Ecstatic 92261)

Here are four new works by the American composer Michael Torke. The 2014 Concerto for Orchestra is based on a four-note motto that begins each of the seven movements; it is played here by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Vasily Petrenko. Bliss, whose rhythmic syncopations are explored and developed via Flamenco-like hand-clapping, features the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble. Oracle was designed to be a concert opener and puts the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and conductor Mark Russell Smith through their paces. Finally Iphigenia, performed by members of Camerata New York led by Richard Owen, was inspired by Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis and is scored for 6 winds and 2 strings.  The work brings out Baroque tendencies in Torke’s music. Ecstatic Records is the composer’s own label.

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