Composers Datebook®

with host John Zech

Saturday, June 17

Torke's "Grand Central Station"

Synopsis

For decades the Goldman Band was famous for its summertime concerts in New York parks. Founded in 1918 by Edwin Franko Goldman, the band was a well-rehearsed, first-rate ensemble capable of presenting both classic Sousa marches as well as brand-new works for symphonic band.

And so, on today's date in 2001, at Damrosch Park next to Lincoln Center, it was the Goldman Memorial Band that premiered a new work for winds by the American composer Michael Torke, entitled "Grand Central Station."

Now, everybody calls the big building at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan "Grand Central Station," but its official name is "Grand Central Terminal." Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger trains, it underwent major renovation in the 1990s, and Torke's score was inspired by the dazzle of the old station's new look.

"As I wrote this piece," said Torke, "I thought of the tremendous energy of arrivals and departures, the swirling shapes and patterns of people with optimistic expectations. Newly renovated, Grand Central Station has that wonderful mix of the classically old, along with its shiny, new, welcoming appearance. Like the Goldman Band itself, it has decades of rich, New York history, but it is very much alive today."

Although Grand Central is enjoying a new lease on life, the fabled Goldman Band was not so fortunate and disbanded in 2005.

Music Played in Today's Program

Michael Torke Grand Central Station IUP Wind Ensemble Ensemble; Jack Stamp, cond. Klavier 11141

Additional Information

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