MICHAEL TORKE (b.1961): Unconquered.
Catalogue Number: 05T079
Label: Ecstatic Records
Description: This four-movement, 26-minute work in a kind of quasi-symphonic layout commemorates the American Revolution and specifically the 1777 battle of Saratoga (it was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Saratoga Performing Arts Center). The idiom is very recognisably Torke; tonal, with repeated short cells providing forward motion, not in the manner of minimalistic processes but through the development through 'conventional' means - dynamics, orchestration, the addition of secondary material, harmonic modulation - of very limited material. The first movement, 'Summon' consists of heroic fanfares; the second, 'Dawn', the slow movement, evokes the stillness of a new day and the sense of anticipation of action; this is provided in the tumultuous 'scherzo', 'Advance'. The finale, 'Liberty', is grandly triumphant, with episodes of optimistic lyricism and stirring fanfares. Philadelphia Orchestra; Cristian Măcelaru.