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Three Scenes from Tahiti

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Michael Torke

Michael Torke (trans. John Leonard)

Subtitle: For Chamber Wind Ensemble

General Info

Year: 2009 / 2020
Duration: c. 12:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Chamber orchestra
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. Bora Bora - lagoon - 3:20
2. Moorea - green cliffs - 3:20
3. Raiatea - town square - 5:55


Full Score
Flute I-II (II double Alto Flute)
Oboe I-II
B-flat (and A) Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Caxixi
  • Claves
  • Conga
  • Egg Shaker
  • Glockenspiel
  • Guiro
  • Maracas
  • Roto-toms
  • Shaker (2: legato and soft)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Taiko Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Timbales
  • Tom-tom
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Each of the movements reminisces a feeling of the individual islands that make up the Society Islands in the South Pacific, which we generally refer to as Tahiti.

A certain humidity, along with the lush landscape, water-life, white sand, and palm trees brings relief, a kind of peace to a hurried soul.

Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, sees it this way: "For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!"

The movements grow from a melodic idea (rather than a rhythmic or harmonic idea, like much of my other music) and undergoes a development; the first and third movements have the most extended treatment.

A bias of orchestration is to limit the string writing to four parts, with a pair of woodwinds doubling the top part, much in the way Bach does in his Orchestral Suites.

- Program Note by composer for original orchestral edition


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Paul Popiel, conductor) - 24 April 2021 *Transcription Premiere Performance*

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