[Ben Phelps looks at a crane]

Works > For Large Ensemble > Overture Maximus

Overture Maximus

circus march for orchestra

for Piccolo, 2 flts. (flt. 2 = picc.), 3 ob. (ob. 3 = eng. hrn.), 2 clr. in Bb (clr. 2 = clr. in A), bs. clr., 2 bsns., contrabsn., 4 hrns., 3 trpt., 3 tbn., tuba, pno., timp., 4 perc (also available arranged for 3 perc), strings.

2006. Performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, conductor, 2010. 9 minutes.

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Overture Maximus was originally entitled Circus Maximus, until it was discovered that another composer had stolen the name from me before I had thought of it, and published it as the title of another piece which I didn’t write. It was conceived originally as a “circus march for orchestra,” which remains the piece’s subtitle. It has very little to do with the Roman circus maximus. It is more simply a maximal representation of the circus. But really, in the end, and after the name change, it is better understood as a maximal representation of an orchestral overture. I simply took the salient features of the successful overture- playfulness, a certain joie de vivre, a certain showcasing of the ensemble, a certain loudness- and carried them out to their logical extremes.

Overture Maximus - USC Thornton Symphony, Donald Crockett, conductor by benphelps