COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 112

A Millennium Overture (1999)

for Orchestra


Duration: 6 min.

Recording: Albany TROY548

Premiere: 2000; JCC Orch San Diego; D. Amos

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When my long-time friend David Amos commissioned a brief, spirited orchestral piece for his community orchestra in the San Diego area, in anticipation of the millennium, I pointed out that schedule considerations would make it difficult for me to conceive and finish a suitable new work in time. However since writing my second cello sonata in 1990, I had always meant to orchestrate its rather exuberant finale as a standalone concert piece. I asked David if this was acceptable and he agreed.

I have no altered a single note in the original, but have tried to fill it out with plenty of orchestra color—tambourine rhythms, blazing lines for four unison horns, and so forth. The conductor’s beat is simple and “straight-ahead” but two’s, three’s, and five’s are often contrasted. At one point there is something of a “break-up” section, with proclamations by one orchestral component or another separated by pauses. As usual with my music, harmonies are relatively consonant but I hope, in the manner of composers such as Nielsen or Hindemith, that there is some definite “grit” in what is generally a joyous work. (Notes by Arnold Rosner)