Alan Hovhaness: Mysterious Mountains

Alan Hovhaness: Mysterious Mountains

by Gerard Schwarz
     
 
Gerard Schwarz has been a staunch champion of American music throughout his nearly two-decade tenure as director of the Seattle Symphony, releasing literally dozens of recordings of works by American symphonists. He has been a particularly keen supporter, however, of the music of Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), with whom he was closely

Overview

Gerard Schwarz has been a staunch champion of American music throughout his nearly two-decade tenure as director of the Seattle Symphony, releasing literally dozens of recordings of works by American symphonists. He has been a particularly keen supporter, however, of the music of Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), with whom he was closely associated. And while Schwarz launches a new relationship with England's Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with this very beautiful disc, the program remains classic Schwarz: Hovhaness's three "Mountain" Symphonies, with the brief "Storm on Mount Wildcat" as an add-on. The "Mountain" Symphonies -- No. 2, "Mysterious Mountain," Op. 132; No. 66, "Hymn to Glacier Peak," Op. 428; and No. 50, "Mount St. Helens," Op. 360 -- are but a small sample of the composer's 67 symphonies, yet they represent his spiritually grounded, populist style well: Each is harmonious and tuneful, often featuring lush string writing, warm and expansive melodies in the winds, and, on occasion, the gentle tintinnabulation of bells. As one might imagine, "Mount St. Helens" is the most dramatic, ending with a timpani-driven depiction of the devastating 1980 eruption, followed by an extended fugue -- a favorite Hovhaness touch. Likewise, "Storm on Mount Wildcat" gusts with powerful bursts of energy. For the most part, though, Hovhaness's "Mountain" Symphonies show the composer's mystical repose at its best, such as in the opening movement of "Mysterious Mountain," with its tender and lyrical trumpet solo supported by silky strings. The Liverpool musicians play with warmth and style for Schwarz, offering what one hopes will be merely the first step in a long and fruitful relationship, and showing that making good music sometimes really is a matter of moving mountains.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/22/2003
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408060427
catalogNumber:
80604
Rank:
16439

Tracks

  1. Symphony No.2 ("Mysterious Mountain"), Op. 132  - Alan Hovhaness  - Alan Hovhaness  - Anilda Carrasquillo  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  - Gerard Schwarz
  2. Symphony No.66 ("Hymn to Glacier Peak"), Op. 428  - Alan Hovhaness  - Alan Hovhaness  - Anilda Carrasquillo  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  - Gerard Schwarz
  3. Symphony No.50 ("Mount St. Helens"), Op. 360  - Alan Hovhaness  - Alan Hovhaness  - Anilda Carrasquillo  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  - Gerard Schwarz
  4. Storm on Mount Wildcat, for orchestra, Op. 2/2  - Alan Hovhaness  - Alan Hovhaness  - Anilda Carrasquillo  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  - Gerard Schwarz

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