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Michael Torke SKY HDTT11516

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Michael Torke SKY

Grammy Nomination for Tessa Lark
2020 Pulitzer Finalist

The inspiration for this concerto came from Tessa Lark, who will be premiering, recording, and touring the piece among the consortium of orchestras that are supporting this project. Tessa is a unique artist, in that not only is she deeply immersed in the classical field but comes from Kentucky, with a father who is a veteran Bluegrass musician, and has this style in her blood. Tessa and I worked together on an earlier piece of mine, Spoon Bread—a duo for violin and piano commissioned by Carnegie Hall—and it was during that period that the idea to write a concerto for her clicked. Banjo-picking technique given to the solo violin was the departure point in the first movement. For the second movement my source material was Irish reels, the forerunner of American Bluegrass. The template for the third movement was fiddle licks with a triplet feel. In each case I wrote themes of my own in these styles, and developed the ideas into a standard, “composed” violin concerto. Everything is written out, nothing improvised. Just as when one looks up and sees the open expanse of the sky, I felt an openness when writing this piece, a renewed freshness to putting notes together. I thank Tessa for opening this door and working so closely with me on this project.
Michael Torke

Scene One: Prologue
Scene Two: Sarah Winchester and Ghosts Scene Three: Tour Guide
Scene Four: Interlude Song
Scene Five: Sarah Winchester
Scene Six: Flashlight Tour
Scene Seven: Ghosts Duet
Scene Eight: Winchester, later in life
Scene Nine: Winchester, Ghost 1, Ghost 2, and Tour Guide
Scene Ten: Coda
Total Time= 51:16

Artist(s): Albany Symphony - David Alan Miller, conductor
Tessa Lark, violin - Peter Kolkay, bassoon
Ryan Roberts, oboe - Weixiong Wang, clarinet

Recording Info:
Producer: Silas Brown, Michael Torke
Session Producer for West, East, South: Doron Schachter
Mastering: Silas Brown
Recorded at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
March 6, 2017 (West, South, and East)
January 7, 2019 (Sky)
Publisher: Adjustable Music; Bill Holab Music, Modern Works
Music Publishing, agents.
West, South, and East commissioned by Paul Underwood.
This recording was made possible by a generous gift from Marsha
Nickerson, a former member of the Albany Symphony

Sky, concerto for violin [24:03]
1 I. Lively 9:44
2 II. Wistful 8:14
3 III. Spirited 6:05
Tessa Lark, violin
West, concerto for bassoon [9:59]
4 I. Lively 4:38
5 II. Andantino 3:26
6 III. Brilliante 1:55
Peter Kolkay, bassoon
South, concerto for oboe [10:07]
7 I. Lyrical 3:43
8 II. Languorous 3:38
9 III. Animato 2:46
Ryan Roberts, oboe
East, concerto for clarinet [10:33]
10 I. Always moving forward 3:57
11 II. Cantabile e misterioso 3:28
12 III. Rhapsodic 3:08
Weixiong Wang, clarinet
Total Time = 54:42


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