Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
7/4

Alan Hovhaness

24 posts in this topic

Any fans out there? I like what I've heard so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You already know I am. I only have two albums, though: Celestial Gate, and Mysterious Mountains, both on Telarc. I was relistening to Celestial Gate recently and was really enjoying it.

What all do you have, David?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vision of a Starry Night. The piano player is Marvin Rosen, who has a classical show on WPRB (Princeton). This morning he was spinning Janabar, a new release on OgreOgress. (They're the folks that recorded my string qt.)

Plus, I've heard a lot of his pieces on the radio over the years, and performances at Julliard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd go on a Hovaness CD buying binge now, but all my music purchases are suspended for the foreseeable future. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd go on a Hovaness CD buying binge now, but all my music purchases are suspended for the foreseeable future. :unsure:

Well, that doesn't sound good!

I don't think I've ever seen a Hovhaness performance advertised around here. The new conductor for the Lansing Symphony is trying new things, though. Maybe he'll pull something out. Probably a lot happens in Ann Arbor that flies under my radar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's Rod Stasik got to say? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got Mysterious Mountain on a cd that also contains Hovhanesse's Lousadezak played by Kieth Jarrett! (I didn't notice that when I bought it.)

Edited by medjuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my life so far, a little Hovhaness has gone a long way, but that disc of viola works on OgreOgress is excellent. I also highly recommend this one by composer Maria de Alvera-Fuerzas:

http://home.swipnet.se/sonoloco2/Rec/OgreO...ressframes.html

I have that. It's been a long time since I listened to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm definitely a fan of his music. Unfortunately I don't have many recordings though. One I like a lot is the Celestial Fantasy CD on Dorian which, in addition to the title piece, includes a number of relatively brief works, among them "The Holy City, Opus 218."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm listening to this right now, sounds exactly like I expected, Hovaness with a sitar. Quite beautiful.

It will be over momentarily so I'll just post the info here:

01/30/08 First-ever public airing for Hovhaness violin & sitar concerto: Shambala

Almost 40 years after it was written, the Hovhaness concerto Shambala, for violin, sitar and orchestra, originally composed for Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar, receives its world-premiere broadcast on January 30th 2008, during the 9am hour (US Eastern Time) on the WPRB radio show Classical Discoveries.

Shambala has never been performed at any concert, so this is its first public airing of any kind. The broadcast marks the February 14th release of the OgreOgress DualDisc comprising three Hovhaness works, each featuring violinist/violist Christina Fong. Both Shambala and Janabar (1950) appear in world-premiere recordings, whilst the concerto Talin was last recorded in its original viola & strings format as far back as 1957.

Composed in 1969 for the Menuhin/Shankar 'East-West fusion' duo (which by then had released two successful West Meets East LPs), the 45-minute, single-movement Shambala was commissioned by Menuhin, but for some reason didn't get its premiere and then fell into complete obscurity - perhaps now making it one of the most eagerly-anticipated Hovhaness discoveries of recent times. Appropriately, one of Shankar's most highly-respected students, Gaurav Mazumdar, undertakes duties on sitar.

Performers are as follows: Rastislav Štúr conducting the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Christina Fong (violin, viola), Gaurav Mazumdar (sitar), Paul Hersey (piano), Michael Bowman (trumpet).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, any of you Michiganders know/know of violinist/violist Christina Fong? She seems to be based in Grand Rapids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know her, she recorded my string qt. I really like the label direction...all the focus on American composers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shambala is the mythical kingdom beyond the snowpeaks of the

Himalayas, as described in ancient Tibetan texts. The nineteenth-

century writings of Theosophical Society founder Madame Blavatsky

propagated this myth to the West, and is the likely source for

Hovhaness' choice of title for this distinctly Indian-sounding

concerto.

Hovhaness' credentials as a scholar of Indian music were impeccable -

and are a much overlooked attribute in deciphering the enigma of this

American maverick. He first witnessed it in 1936, when Uday Shankar's

touring dance troupe performed in Boston (with 16-year old Ravi

Shankar on sitar) and he subsequently met with many Indian musicians

who passed through Boston. In the early 1950s Hovhaness was Director

of Music and composer for the Near and Middle East sections of the

Voice of America, and in 1959/60 spent a year in India on a Fulbright

Scholarship, becoming the first Westerner to have his works performed

at the Madras Music Festival.

In India Hovhaness had met Ravi Shankar, who by the late 1960s (with a

little help from The Beatles) was rousing a huge surge of Western

interest in Indian music. Hovhaness provided some rather technical

liner notes for the sitarist's 1966 Columbia release The Sounds of

India. 1967's West Meets East then saw Shankar duetting with violinist

Yehudi Menuhin, also an acquaintance of Hovhaness from a summer stay

in Switzerland. Perhaps wanting something more substantial in this

East-West vein, Menuhin commissioned Hovhaness for a concerto for

violin, sitar and orchestra. The result was 1969's Shambala, the first

orchestral concerto to incorporate the sitar. For reasons unclear, it

was never performed and Shankar subsequently composed his own Concerto

No.1 for Sitar and Orchestra the following year.

Whereas Shankar's concerto employs several notated sitar passages,

ironically it is Hovhaness, the Westener, who preserves Indian

tradition, with just improvised music for the sitar (in the specified

modes of Bhairav, Todi, Gunkali, Jait) supported only by Hovhaness'

trademark rhythmless textures. The violin part, however, is more

notated than improvised.

As Shankar never performed this work, it is fitting that one of his

most cherished disciples, Gaurav Mazumdar, undertakes the sitar part

for this premiere performance and recording. No less fitting is the

appearance of Christina Fong, who to date has digitally recorded more

Hovhaness (and Feldman) than any other violinist/violist. Fong has

longsince championed little-known repertoire over the 'standard

warhorses', following very much in the generous musical spirit of the

aforementioned Ajemian sisters and Yehudi Menuhin himself.

© Marco Shirodkar, 2007

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000XULO3O

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What the hell is he doing here? It sounds like a Bert Kaepmfert record as remixed by David Lynch?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd recommend this Hovhaness LP:

R-9752709-1485809313-3116.jpeg.jpg

Andre Kostelanetz Conducts the Music of Alan Hovhaness (Columbia, 1977)

This is probably my favorite Hovhaness record. (Admittedly, like Larry, I feel like a little Hovhaness can go a long way.) The most interesting piece on this LP is the opener, based on The Rubáiyát Of Omar Khayyám. It features narration by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and an accordion soloist! That may not sound like a promising combination -- and there is a certain latent cheeseball element -- but I was completely won over the first time I ever heard it. Incidentally, Teo Macero produced the record.

I don't think the LP has ever been reissued in digital format.  But here's The Rubáiyát via YT:

 

 

 

 

4 hours ago, JSngry said:

What the hell is he doing here? It sounds like a Bert Kaepmfert record as remixed by David Lynch?

Isn't that description true of much of Hovhaness' music?!?!? ;) 

His compositions often seem (to me) to be walking a very fine line between (unintentional) camp and wonderment.

Edited by HutchFan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow...that actually makes a buttload of sense.

Yeah, I set up a Hovhaness Pandora station, and every time it opens up, it always sounds like this, just not as overt.

 

Mind you, I'm not complaining. It just is a bit, uh, disorientating at first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL!!!! :D

You're right: That 101 Strings track is not all that far from (much of) Hovhaness' music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nelson Riddle, dude, one of many narcoticians who had more layers than was usually let on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After admiring Bud Herseth's Mysterious Mountain, further exploration is only ok.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a nice track.  I have Andre Kostelanetz's version, but here it is by the Seattle  Symphony:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.