Alan Hovhaness: And God Created Great Whales; Concerto No. 8 for Orchestra; Anahid; Etc

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - "Blue" Gene Tyranny
A magnificently beautiful recording of an orchestra in an old abbey, "Alleluia and Fugue for String Orchestra" is one of Hovhaness' best-known works, a two-part composition from 1942. The "Alleluia" varies between parallel chords in rhythm, somewhat like a Russian Orthodox chant, with an Eastern European-influenced melismatic melody in imitative canon style. The effect is plaintive, praising with a restrained passion. The "Fugue" melody, first stated by the cellos, is likewise a melismatic, flowing creation. The voices develop in a classic fugue form, but there are few key modulations. At times, two or three voices are heard in high, angelic registers, and during ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - "Blue" Gene Tyranny
A magnificently beautiful recording of an orchestra in an old abbey, "Alleluia and Fugue for String Orchestra" is one of Hovhaness' best-known works, a two-part composition from 1942. The "Alleluia" varies between parallel chords in rhythm, somewhat like a Russian Orthodox chant, with an Eastern European-influenced melismatic melody in imitative canon style. The effect is plaintive, praising with a restrained passion. The "Fugue" melody, first stated by the cellos, is likewise a melismatic, flowing creation. The voices develop in a classic fugue form, but there are few key modulations. At times, two or three voices are heard in high, angelic registers, and during the middle and end sections the entire string orchestra fills the air with a heartfelt richness of sound. This is classic 20th century music. "And God Created Great Whales" (1970) is for orchestra and the taped songs of whales, including humpback, bowhead, and killer whales. The piece begins with rushing sounds in the strings and a simple melody that emerges in the brass and high bells. The music becomes quieter, and a lovely and light pentatonic melody like a sea shanty occurs in the high winds and strings, with lovely harmonies beneath. Low tremulous strings appear and recede quietly while the sounds of whales are heard. The initial melody is played again above lower rushing string sounds, and then sliding trombones imitate the whales. The whale sounds return among a rolling, swelling timpani, random bells and harp glissandi, and staccato winds (suggesting "tiny sea creatures"). When the whales are next heard, the accompaniment includes high strings and rolling timpani, the simple sea shanty, and dissonant horns layered on top. Three gigantic waves of random sounds, the last with whale sounds, build and ebb, concluding the work.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/15/1993
  • Label: Crystal Records
  • UPC: 009414781024
  • Catalog Number: 810
  • Sales rank: 163,634

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alan Hovhaness Primary Artist
John Chambers Viola
Sue Bowling English Horn
Dudley Bright Trombone
Christine Messiter Flute
David Amos Conductor
Philharmonia Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
Alan Hovhaness Composer, Liner Notes, Liner Notes
John Ford Cover Photo, Photo Courtesy
Peter Christ Producer, Liner Notes
John Ford IV Cover Photo, Photo Courtesy
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