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New York Overture
for Orchestra

Composer: McKinley, William Thomas

  • 97022030

Publication Type

Study Score


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New York Overture was commissioned by the New York Chamber Symphony and composed for the rich and bright sound that this orchestra reveals under Gerard Schwarz’s wonderfully buoyant and energetic leadership. Having worked with these intense artists many times before, I found it easy to imagine, in a single vision, a dramatic overture cast in a traditional and serious manner. My impressions and memories of New York provided a direct catalyst. Woven into the overture are a number of ‘hints’ derived from well-known melodies which have endured as popular romanticizations of New York’s manifold personality. Coupled with these ‘hints’ are my own Tin-Pan Alley and jazz experiences, presented and transformed throughout the melodic and harmonic fabric. Rhythmically, the New York Overture seeks to create perpetual motion and movement as a metaphor for what we see and encounter in the New York streets, with their intricate rhythmic patterns of pulsing energy. Listeners will, I hope, discover in it their own feelings and memories, aroused by the aura of this dazzling, varied, and yet monolithic city.” —William Thomas McKinley (© 1990), from 12-13 May 1990 program and his notes.

Instrumentation: 2(1) 2 2 2; 2200; timp/perc, pno, hp; stgs
Duration: 14'
Composed: 1989
Published by: Notevole Music Publishing

Performance materials available on rental: Subito Music Rental Library via Zinfonia

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