It will soon be taken up by more than 60 other small orchestras around the country. The project...is the largest consortium commission in the history of American orchestras.
One of today's most widely performed composers, Tower has a well-established style propulsive rhythmic landscapes with vibrant orchestration. Made in America hewed closely to that model but with an added element. Fragments of the melody of "America the Beautiful" are subtly woven throughout the piece. The familiar tune gave a thread of beauty, possibly hope, to Tower's tense and edgy sounds...The score's feeling of industry and striving made it very American.
...The piece came home to the Pro Arte [Chamber Orchestra] and it is terrific. Tower uses the opening of "America the Beautiful" as her basic thematic material, and in a way the piece is allegory the tune meets many hostilities and challenges but never gives in; instead it assimilates everything it encounters. The style lies somewhere between Copland and Stravinsky, and the music is written by a master orchestrator who knows how to make an ensemble sound good. And while the design may appear schematic as one describes it, Tower is too experienced, gifted, and cagy to fall into that trap: It functions according to a purely musical logic as well.