Renowned as a song composer, Ned Rorem has excelled in many other musical genres. In their dance suites, both he and Corigliano share a nostalgia for the band gazebos and hotel ballrooms of the early 20th century.
"An outspoken critic of serialism, Rorem has never been ashamed of writing music that's pleasing to the ear…. Surprisingly, given the craftsmanship and attractiveness of his music, Rorem has not proven to be the most 'phonogenic' of composers, largely because of his avowed antipathy to making 'Big Statements'—which is why his music has been taken up primarily by smaller record labels…. Rorem himself admits that he conceives of all of his music vocally, 'as though they were songs—like settings of words that aren't there.' Even his large-scale instrumental and orchestral works tend to be made up of short, descriptive movements rather than big-boned sonata structures."—Gramophone