Author Topic: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)  (Read 772 times)

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Offline kyjo

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Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« on: July 23, 2018, 02:43:37 PM »
Hailstork is a contemporary African-American composer whose powerfully moving Symphony no. 2 I just discovered today. From the Naxos liner notes:


"In the summer of 1996, I took a trip to Africa. There I visited the forts along the coast of Ghana, and saw the dungeons where the slaves were held before being shipped overseas. I put my reaction to that sad scene in movement two of this symphony. In movement four I sought to reflect the determination of a people who had arrived in America as slaves, but struggled, with courage and faith, against numerous odds."


It's a dark work, beginning with a quiet string chord interrupted by vicious brass chords. The second movement is notable for its mournful cor anglais solos and unsettling, mysterious drum beats. A nervous energy characterizes the third movement, and carries into the fourth movement as well but there are some more optimistic, dance-like sections in the latter. These are contrasted by anxious, almost nightmarish sections that rather put me in mind of Arnold's 6th and 7th symphonies, but ultimately, a triumphant, defiant ending is attained (barely). I highly recommend this symphony to anyone who enjoys tonal, substantial contemporary symphonies and it proves that the symphony is far from dead. I eagerly await exploration of more of Hailstork's music!



https://youtu.be/ZasNkYyrEJQ
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 05:28:19 PM »
Certainly it sounds enticing!

Online relm1

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Re: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2018, 05:31:01 AM »
I love "tonal, substantial contemporary" symphonies and am enjoying this one now.  Thanks for introducing it to us.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2018, 06:03:15 PM »
I love "tonal, substantial contemporary" symphonies and am enjoying this one now.  Thanks for introducing it to us.

Glad you enjoyed it!  :)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Online vandermolen

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Re: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2018, 10:22:40 PM »
I purchased the CD in 2008 but I can't remember much about it, which suggests that it didn't make much of an impression on me t the time. However, following Kyle's enthusiastic review I should listen to it again.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 09:21:06 AM »
An extract from one of his symphonies was played on the radio a few days ago. It sounded really good.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2018, 01:05:53 PM »
An extract from one of his symphonies was played on the radio a few days ago. It sounded really good.

Any idea which one? I haven’t heard nos. 1 and 3, but I’m sure they’re good.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Online vandermolen

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Re: Adolphus Hailstork (1941-)
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 12:28:33 AM »
Any idea which one? I haven’t heard nos. 1 and 3, but I’m sure they’re good.

No sure Kyle but I suspect that it was the slow movement of symphonies 2 or 3.

PS I just checked and it was the Adagio from Symphony 1 with JoAnn Falletta conducting.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 12:32:26 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).