Study Score of Michael Daugherty's Oh, Lois! from the Metropolis Symphony (1989).
Instrumentation: 2(I=picc).2.2.2 - 4330 - timp - perc(2): 2 tgl/2 gong/2 BD/2 flexatone/2 whip - synth - strings.
'I began composing my Metropolis Symphony in 1988, inspired by the celebration in Cleveland of the fiftieth anniversary of Superman's first appearance in the comics. When I completed the score in 1993, I dedicated it to the conductor David Zinman, who had encouraged me to compose the work, and to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Metropolis Symphony evokes an American mythology that I discovered as an avid reader of comic books in the fifties and sixties. Each movement of the symphony-which may be performed separately-is a musical response to the myth of Superman. I have used Superman as a compositional metaphor in order to create an independent musical world that appeals to the imagination. The symphony is a rigorously structured, non-programmatic work, expressing the energies, ambiguities, paradoxes, and wit of American popular culture. Like Charles Ives, whose music recalls small-town America early in our century, I draw on my eclectic musical background to reflect on late-twentieth-century urban America. Through complex orchestration, timbral exploration, and rhythmic polyphony, I combine the idioms of jazz, rock, and funk with symphonic and avant-garde composition. Oh, Lois! invokes Lois Lane, news reporter at the Daily Planet alongside Clark Kent (alias Superman). Marked with the tempo "faster than a speeding bullet," this five-minute concerto for the orchestra uses flexatone and whip to provide a lively polyrhythmic counterpoint that suggests a cartoon history of mishaps, screams, dialogue, crashes, and disasters, all in rapid motion.'
~ Michael Daugherty
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