Michael Daugherty’s “Flamingo”: A Great American Road Trip

Flamingo by the American composer Michael Daugherty (b. 1954) is as quirky, colorful, and unapologetic as the plastic pink ornaments which have long adorned lawns. Written in 1991 for chamber orchestra, the piece showcases a cast of zany instrumental characters. It blends the blues with the tambourine-infused sounds of a Spanish flamenco dance. At moments, it suggests a TV or film chase scene soundtrack. It delivers action-packed suspense, outrageousness, and furious rhythmic intensity. …

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