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Reynolda Reflections (2000), an extended trio in five evocative movements for flute, cello, and piano was commissioned by the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Locklair's native Winston-Salem. Each movement of the trio is thus inspired by a different American painting from that museum's collections. The first, fourth, and fifth movements make the strongest impressions. The first, Fantasy in the Woods, quoting the famous 'Third Mode Melody' of early English composer Thomas Tallis, paints an atmospheric woodland scene. The fourth, Dances Before the Barn, is a modern American 'barn dance' of sorts with Locklair's trademark asymmetrical rhythmic groupings. The fifth, Songs to the Wind, is inspired by Wagner -- but the treatment is all American in a soaring finale to the suite [listen -- CD1 track 5, 0:00-0:47]

In the Almost Evening (1982), subtitled 'A Nocturne for Soprano, Clarinet, and Piano' is a setting in one-movement of three poems by Canadian poet Joy Kogawa. The middle section ('Snake Dance') uses only clarinet and soprano, which are joined in the outer sections by the piano, providing a flowing and ringing accompaniment -- in a manner typical of Locklair's piano writing (extended, fast, gestural passages with pedal depressed to create beds of harmonic sound). This piece shows the debts in Locklair's style to minimalism (an influence found particularly in his works from the late 1970s and early 1980s).

The influence of minimalism is also present in Music of Quince (1984), subtitled 'A Tone Poem for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, and Piano'. It was inspired by the famous poem 'Peter Quince at the Clavier' by American poet Wallace Stevens. It is a free-form single movement work and the least interesting piece in this collection.

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Copyright © 17 November 2004 Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA


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