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A significant release

Orchestral music by Dan Locklair -
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'... the performances are solid and zestful.'

Dan Locklair Orchestral Music (c) 2002 Dan Locklair

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.

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Copyright © 18 September 2002 Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA


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