A 16-minute orchestral tribute to the city of Chicago commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation as part of the composer’s residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and first performed in 2007. The title draws on the fact that the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 devastated large swathes of the city, leaving only a few buildings standing in the Centre. The combination of these relics alongside the stunning skyscraper architecture of the late 19th and 20th centuries is an illustration of Chicago’s ongoing powers of reinvention. The tough grandeur and true grit of this modern metropolis finds parallels in Turnage’s score.
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