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Karl F. Miller
Fanfare, January 2020

The music is tonal. The composer [Locklair] has cleverly weaved many familiar patriotic tunes into the musical discourse. He has a fine sense of instrumentation.

The performances seemed to be very respectful, the sound quality was fine. Organist Peter Mikula does an excellent job. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review

Steven Kruger
Fanfare, January 2020

The performances here, under a Slovak organist, two conductors (one British, one Canadian), and a Slovak orchestra, are utterly winning and American-sounding in manner. Naxos has provided beautiful sound. It isn’t often that one can leave the concert hall humming happy tunes. Some may find Locklair’s style too optimistic, as if it were waiting for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to kick in, but I don’t hold that against it. How often do composers bring us joyous music, after all? © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review

Michael Wilkinson
MusicWeb International, November 2019

…The simplest thing I can say about this Locklair compendium is ‘Enjoy!’.

Locklair is very popular in the USA and beyond, and it is very easy to see why. His musical language is straightforward, approachable, steeped in the traditions of popular…

Recording quality is very good throughout, and performances both pleasing and detailed. Lovely stuff! © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Choir & Organ, November 2019

Dan Locklair’s music is unmistakably infused with American life and history, and no more so than in the Second Symphony ‘America. This piece comes off the best on this disc…’ © 2019 Choir & Organ

The Organ Club Journal, October 2019

A super disc. © 2019 The Organ Club Journal

Jim Westhead
MusicWeb International, September 2019

The two outer movements [PHOENIX] are very energetic and make use of the triad in their structure. The organ is prominent; indeed, the very opening of the symphony is most striking.

…This is a very enjoyable CD. I’m interested to see that a Professor of music, in an American University, feels no need to write dodecaphonic music… © 2019 MusicWeb International  Read complete review

James Manheim, September 2019

The performances by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra under Kirk Trevor are very strong; Locklair, a university composer, is good at giving every instrumentalist a line, and the orchestral soloists never flag. The brass and percussion in the organ concerto finale are especially impressive. Recommended. © 2019 Read complete review

Records International, September 2019

Locklair’s conservative yet appealing idiom, an offshoot of the tonal American symphonic tradition, with an emphasis on the celebratory and uplifting, is shown to good advantage in these attractive works, as it was on 09J076 more than a decade ago. The symphony draws on melodies associated with three American holidays of historical significance—Independence Day (America the Beautiful), Memorial Day (Taps), and Thanksgiving (the Thanksgiving hymn ‘We Gather Together’) in a bold, colorful pageant celebrating our nation. © 2019 Records International Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), September 2019

This world premiere recording of four recent orchestral works by acclaimed composer Dan Locklair opens with the powerful Symphony No. 2, America, the orchestral fireworks of which celebrate three significant American holidays. Hail the Coming Day is a festive celebration of the consolidation of the towns of Winston and Salem in 1913, while the antiphonal dialogues of PHOENIX celebrate new life. The Concerto for Organ and Orchestra movingly unites ancient and modern musical techniques to create a work of dazzling beauty. © 2019 WFMT (Chicago)

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2019

The “Symphony No. 2 ‘America’” is in the form of a Holidays Symphony—with a movement each for Independence Day, one for Memorial Day and one for Thanksgiving. “America the Beautiful” is paraphrased a good deal at first. We hear “Taps” and then not surprisingly the hymn “We Gather Together (To Ask the Lord’s Blessing)” for the Thanksgiving movement.

Nicely done. Nice music. And that includes the “Concerto for Organ!” © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2019

Eleven years ago I enthusiastically reviewed the Naxos release of Dan Locklair’s First Symphony, and now we have his Second titled ‘America’ completed in 2016.

They have in common a series of pictures of American lifethis new work celebrating the three major holidays in the United States—Independence Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. They also share a very personal view of composition, its roots embedded in a style that dates back a century ago, melody and tunefulness being the criteria for success. You can then guess the content of the symphony by reading the titles, for here we have all the razzmatazz associated with American Independence, that mood preceding the symphony’s slow movement to mark Memorial Day. Finally the modern festivities that share with the religious aspects of the original Thanksgiving. Three years earlier he was commissioned to write a work to mark the centenary of the consolidation of the North Carolina towns of Winston and Salem in 1913, the outcome was Hail the Coming Day, a short and brilliant score for large orchestra. Turn the clock back to 1964 and the fifteen-year-old Locklair had already become a professional organist, an appointment that led to his recognition as one of North America’s leading exponents of the instrument. In 2010 he added to the repertoire the Concerto included here. In content it’s three movements would appeal to those in the world of ‘pop’ classics, two robust and energized outer movements surrounding a central Canto with the strange description of ‘to God and dog’.To complete the disc PHOENIX is the result of a short brass fanfare that has grown into a score for full orchestra linked with the creation of the city of Winston-Salem. It is big, bold and very clamorous. As with the previous disc, the musicians of the Slovak orchestra give their all on Locklair’s behalf, while the organist, Peter Mikula, fulfils with power his virtuoso role. As the composer was part of the recording team, these become benchmark interpretations. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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