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Millennium Overture was commissioned by Indiana University of Pennsylvania for its 125th Anniversary and millennium celebration. And premiered there, March 24, 2000, by the University Symphony Orchestra, Douglas E. Bish, conducting.
Boykan’ s Symphony for Orchestra is a fascinating work. In many ways, Boykin also admits, this work is a fairly traditional four movement symphony but with a harmonic vocabulary that speaks to Berg or Schoenberg; much more so than in the Concerto. The confluence of a structural form – including the use of a solo vocalist – that is fairly traditional but with a swirling, nebulous harmonic center is a bit unusual and is somewhat reminiscent of Mahler.
For me, the first two movements of this Symphony are interesting and do hold the interest, but it is the second half that provide the most payoff. The fairly brief Adagio opens with broad chord that pronounces, subsides and then provides the material to long line, poignant melodies. The mood is generally sad or at least ponderous and it reminded me, peripherally, of the Adagio in the Mahler ninth.