Year: 1994

Heading: for orchestra

First Performance:
8 September 1994
Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi

Instrumentation: 3(III=picc).2.corA.2.Ebcl.bcl.2 tgl/claves/wdbl/susp.cym/SD/BDharpstrings

Duration: 9'

Recording: Javelin can be found on release called, three

...it is a brief, breezy New World showpiece. Torke gives populism a good name- neither trendy nor overly traditional, but with bags of rhythmic verve. —Andrew Clark, Financial Times

Javelin is lithe and sleek and very athletic and heroic in tone- its bright and breezy countenance more than fulfilling its sporting brief. —Gramophone

...frivolity beautifully made...—New York Times

It's got memorable tunes and spunky post-minimalist animation; it's up to date yet perfectly designed to capture the essence of the Games. It has the ability to lift the spirit time and time again. —Los Angeles Times

Program Note:
I had three goals for this Atlanta Symphony's anniversary piece: I wanted to use the orchestra as a virtuosic instrument, I wanted to use triads (three-note tonal chords), and I wanted the music to be thematic. I knew I would welcome swifter changes of mood than what is found in my earlier music. What came out (somewhat unexpectedly) was a sense of valor among short flashes and sweeps that reminded me of something in flight: a light spear thrown, perhaps, but not in the sense of a weapon, more in the spirit of a competition. When the word javelin suddenly suggested itself, I couldn't help but recall the 1970s model of sports car my Dad owned, identified by that name, but I concluded, why not? Even that association isn't so far off from the general feeling of the piece. Its fast tempo calls for 591 measures to evoke the generally uplifting, sometimes courageous, yet playful spirit.