A significant release
Orchestral music by Dan Locklair -
'... the performances are solid and zestful.'
This work is a significant release in that it marks the first major orchestral
disc available of the music of composer Dan Locklair (born 1949). Locklair
is composer-in-residence and professor of music at Wake Forest University
in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA). He is an original voice in American
music whose work deserves to be heard far and wide. Although some of his
organ and choral music have become a part of the standard repertoire, his
orchestral music is not yet widely known. His musical style is tonal, with
a strong 'American' character in terms of both musical materials, rhythmic
character, and orchestration.
The six orchestral works on this disc are all of short to medium length
(ranging from six to fifteen minutes long) and were composed from 1984 to
1996. Hues [listen -- track 1, 0:00-0:45]
is a set of three brief tone poems (Cloudburst, Moonshine,
Sunburst); Dayspring is a brief 'fanfare-concertino'
for guitar and orchestra; and Creation's Seeing Order is a vibrant
'prelude for orchestra'.
For this reviewer, the principal highlights of the disc were the short
organ concerto, Ere long we shall see... and the orchestral tone
poem When Morning Stars Begin to Fall. The organ concerto was a popular
work from the 1996 American Guild of Organists National Convention (for
which it was commissioned) and is an exciting and compelling piece. Cast
in one movement, the work's opening and closing sections are vibrant : the
full majesty of the organ's sound is matched and blended with the orchestra.
The middle section [listen -- track 11, 2:11-2:55]
creates a gorgeously ethereal mood with a haunting melody and string harmonics
over a hushed tapestry with vibraphone.
Copyright © 18 September 2002
Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA