The extra-musical considerations of these works are interesting in and of themselves, but they are in no way necessary for an understanding and enjoyment of these considerable achievements by Corigliano.
The composer has come some way from the piano concerto that Hilde Somer recorded in San Antonio back in the late '60s. There is the same rythmic pulse, the same intense desire to innovate while remaining accessible. There's more content in ideas and art surrounding those ideas that remind me strongly of Penderecki, Panufnik,Rieti, Nicholas Flagello and Creston without in the least way being derivative. Corigliano, truly an original voice, deserves to be in such distinguished company.
My only concern is that these works have been pinned as so occasional that they might meet the fate of period pieces, much as some of the fine 1970s works of Gould, Carter, or Gregg Smith: we don't hear them any more because they've been so oft-discussed and fraught with situational association.
The National Symphony has mended its somewhat slack ways proliferated under the Slavka regime. Antal Dorati would have been proud to hear the exquisite execution DC's superlative orchestra affords these affecting works.