A Barlow Commission composed by Augusta Read Thomas, entitled Radiant Circles, premiered March 10 and 11, 2011 in Woolsey Hall in New Haven, Connecticut. The piece was performed by the New Haven Symphony with William Boughton, conducting.
In a review by the New Haven Register, David J. Baker said that the piece, “is abstract music that, true to its title, seems to revolve about the stage, highlighting different instrumental groups. It explores orchestral colors in an apparently spontaneous, random way, without any repeated sequences that might help structure it for the listener.”
In addition, he said, “there is a suggested pattern in the growth from smaller to larger fragments, the progress from light to dark, and the rise in intensity — emphasized by the big timpani solos near the end. Music Director William Boughton, in introducing the piece, spoke of hints of sunrise, but the bright, dissonant woodwind chords evoked something more dramatic than rosy-fingered dawn.”