Alan Hovhaness

An important 20th Century American composer whose music anticipated many future musical trends and aesthetic values. Rejecting the vogues of Americana, serialism and atonality, he pioneered contemporary development of archaic models and was amongst the earliest to integrate Western musical idioms with Eastern ones, making him a pioneer of East-West 'fusion' decades before the term 'World Music' had been coined.

Introduced 'ad libitum' or aleatoric counterpoint from 1944, almost two decades before the European avant garde. From the 1940s, his employment of incantatory melodies over static harmonies, plus use of rhythmic cycles, presaged the Minimalist vogue of the 1960s/70s.

The visionary and mystical nature of his work, often intoxicating in its directness and simplicity, rank him as the musical progenitor to the later, so-called New Age-ists and Spiritual Minimalists, such as Arvo Paert and John Tavener.

His significance remains overlooked by musical academia, partly due to his aloofness from the establishment, and also because scholars have not looked for radical developments in post-War music which is broadly tonal and deliberately appealing.

Which altogether meant a "Berufsverbot"!!

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1936 Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 17 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Janos Starker - Cello
Seattle Symphony Orchestra cond. Russell Davis
1944 Khrimian Hairig, Opus 49
4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Lars Rasch - Trumpet
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Gerald Schwartz
1953 Concerto No 7 for Orchestra Opus 116 4.00 stars CD
Pierné Comments:
Louisville Orchestra cond. Robert Whitey
1955 Symphony No 2 Mysterious Mountains 4.00 stars CD
Pierné Comments:
Chicago Symphony Orchestracond. Fritz Reiner
1957 Magnificat for Four Solo Voices, Chorus and Orchestra Opus 157 4.00 stars CD
Pierné Comments:
Solists, Choir and The Louisville Orchestra cond. Robert Whitey
1959 Symphony 4 for wind symphony orchestra Opus 165 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Wind Orchestra cond. Keith Brion
1963 Symphony No 15 Opus 199 "Silver Pilgrimage" 4.00 stars  CD
Pierné Comments:
Louisville Orchestra cond. Robert Whitey
1968 Symphony 20. Three Journeys to a Holy Mountain Opus 223 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Wind Orchestra cond. Keith Brion
1970 Symfonie nr. 22 City of Light, op. 236 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Seattle Symphony Orchestra cond. Russell Davis
ca 1975 O Lord, Bless Thy Mountains, opus 276 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Alan Hovhaness' O Lord, Bless Thy Mountains, opus 276, for two pianos tuned a quartertone apart, was recorded in the CAMI Hall on June 14, 1991 in New York following its American Festival of Microtonal Music (AFMM) concert premiere that same day. The late composer wrote, While riding on a bus in Seattle and looking at the mountains, I composed the music as a religious hymn to the beauty and inspiration of these wonderful peaks.
Opus 276 was originally composed for the pianists, John and Thelma Dierks of Virginia.

Joshua Pierce - Piano
Dorothy Jonas - Piano

1979 Guitar Concerto Opus 325 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
David Leister - Guitar
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Gerald Schwartz
1983 Symphony 53. Star Dawn for band Opus 377 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Wind Orchestra cond. Keith Brion
1985 Symphony 60. To the Appalachian Mountains Opus 396 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Gerald Schwartz