Hailstork: Orchestral Music
JoAnn Falletta, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Chorus & Kevin Deas
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American composer Adolphus Hailstork has been quietly building up an impressive catalog of well-crafted works. This new collection brings some of them to light.
Hailstork's Symphony No. 1 is an expansive work with plenty of energy. Hailstork's melodies are always tuneful and rhythmic, which makes this symphony sparkle. For the most part, the work's thinly orchestrated. In some ways it's more of a symphony of small instrumental groups rather than a big ensemble.
An American Port of Call shares some characteristics of William Walton's Portsmouith Point. both are short orchestral works depicting a busy seaport. Hailstork's composition has all the energy of a bustling waterfront, with different musical themes moving back and forth in crosscurrents. A splendid curtain-raiser.
Fanfare on Amazing Grace is an imaginative treatment of this well-known (and perhaps over-performed hymn). The tune provides the starting point from which he builds a superstructure of original material, that reveals new insights about this melody.
Adolphus Hailstork lives in eastern Virginia. The Virginia Symphony, a hometown ensemble, well familiar with Hailstork's music. Under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, this regional orchestra turns in credible performances. Sometimes the ensemble playing isn't as precise as it needs to be, but that's a minor quibble. It's a joy simply to hear these works played.
Born: February 27, 1954 in United States
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s