Muhly composed several tender, brief, solo arias for the principal characters, and engaging dialogues both online and off. Though his music suggests the throbbing postminimalism of John Adams, his most clear influences come from this side of the pond — the English choral tradition of Herbert Howells (evoked in a somewhat out-of-place church scene) and the operas of Britten. “Two Boys” teems with references to Britten, from the pealing gamelan-style gongs of “Death in Venice” to the finale, an ornate passacaglia straight out of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
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