"The title work on this CD, An American Port of Call…is Hailstork’s most-recorded work…it celebrates Norfolk with unbridled energy and touches of nostalgia. The exuberant Three Spirituals…consists of orchestral settings of works originally written for pipe organ, each offering a distinctive character…Fanfare on Amazing Grace …originally a work for organ, brass, and percussion, is an effective opener with some creative transformations of the hymn tune.
The four-movement symphony, classical in design and scale, was written for a summer music festival, and it is open-air music in the best sense: full of character and instantly ingratiating. Sonorous bass-baritone Kevin Deas projects words and music with striking conviction, and the choral performance is clean and thoroughly engaged.
The engineers have done their job well. Falletta and her Norfolk-based ensemble present these works with distinction, and they offer several desirable works otherwise not available. If it is these, or simply an introduction to the works of this American master that you are seeking, you can’t go wrong with this release."
Ronald E. Grames Fanfare - November 2012
"...This very rewarding disc concludes with the broad, solemn and moving Whitman’s Journey – Launch Out on Endless Seas for chorus, baritone soloist and orchestra. Hailstork’s music is similarly panoramic, reaching and – again – ‘American’. It is a wonderful work performed quite well here with special commendation to the tight harmonies and diction of the Virginia Symphony Chorus and to the big warm sound of baritone Kevin Deas. This disc also showcases the appreciable skills of the Virginia Symphony and Chorus under the direction of one of America’s best known female conductors, Jo Ann Falletta, whose tight leadership is comparable to any conductor. I strongly recommend this disc! What a great way to get to know a composer, an orchestra and a conductor who all deserve to be known even more. Kudos again to Naxos for making such music available! ****
Daniel Coombe - AudiophileAudition.com - November 2012
Award-winning composer Adolphus Hailstork is a vibrant communicator whose music speaks directly and subtly. His Symphony No 1 was commissioned for festival performance and is imbued with the lyrical and vivid qualities of which he is a master. The Three Spirituals are richly affecting orchestral settings originally written for pipe organ. Fanfare on Amazing Grace is nobly conceived and An American Port of Call evokes the bustle inspired by Norfolk, Virginia. Whitman’s Journey is a hymn of hope for those setting out on ‘the seas of life.’
No User Reviews Found.