Opus 775

Flying Machine (2008)

for Orchestra


Duration: 8 min.

Dedication: for James Yannatos

Commission: Commissioned by the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra in celebration of its 200th anniversary

Publisher: Musik Fabrik

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Flying Machine (2008) for orchestra was commissioned by the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra in celebration of two anniversaries: the orchestra’s 200th season and James Yannatos’s 45th anniversary as conductor. The work is dedicated to James Yannatos in celebration of his 80th birthday and his years of distinguished activity as conductor, composer, and mentor.

The music is joyous in spirit, inspired by a sense of discovery and fulfillment—the exhilaration that comes from knowledge well-used. The poetic image is taken from the age of the invention of flight.

The piece’s opening section is “workshop/construction” music—filled with a sense of unfolding, building, and assembly. The musical material is presented in a series of overlapping guises; the rest of the work unfolds from these ideas. As the music gathers energy, the barn door is finally opened, and the behemoth is rolled out. After a pregnant pause, the music of flight begins—soaring and energetic.