Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A musical response to terror

Javelin Overture - Michael Torke (Texas Medical Center Orchestra)

From the biography of the composer, Michael Torke:
One of Torke's most frequently performed orchestral pieces is Javelin (1994), a "sonic olympiad" commissioned by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympics in celebration of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 50th anniversary season. In the spring of 1996, two different recordings of Javelin were simultaneously released a rare occurrence for a contemporary composition. The first recording, featuring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Yoel Levi, was the fourth all-Torke CD to be released by Decca's Argo label. The second recording is on Sony Classical's Summon the Heroes, the official centenary Olympics album featuring the Boston Pops conducted by John Williams, which reached the Number One position on Billboard's Classical Crossover chart.
I chose this piece because three drum corps, Glassmen, Carolina Crown, and Troopers, played arrangements of this music in 2002.  After listening to this inspiring music all summer, I associated it with an act of musical defiance in the face of terror.  After the events of yesterday, I listened to it again in the same spirit and found it heartening.  I hope you do, too.


  1. Lovely. Very Tchaikovsky-esque and uplifting.

    However, Narb is less subtle entity than Mr. Torke (which rhymes with Borkborkbork), and prefers his Corps-style music to be more of the in-your-homely-face variety.

    To this end, Narb suggests this short, brassy, Olympic-themed piece. Narb played this last year, and it was a pleasure to watch the ceremonial beheading of the trumpet section at the conclusion of the piece.


    Narb is here Tuesdays. Try the veal.

    1. Oh, nice choice. I like. Too bad only one corps (Spokane Thunder) has ever played that, and they didn't even go to DCI championships that year (2005).