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Hovhaness: Symphony No. 29; The Rubaiyat
     

Hovhaness: Symphony No. 29; The Rubaiyat

by Michael York
 
Reflecting Alan Hovhaness' extremely varied oeuvre, this 2005 Delos compilation presents six works in as many media, and makes the listener pay close attention to the track listing and credits. The "Symphony No. 29, arranged for trombone and band, Op. 289," gives the fullest account of Hovhaness' mildly atmospheric harmonies and melodically fluid style, a mixture of

Overview

Reflecting Alan Hovhaness' extremely varied oeuvre, this 2005 Delos compilation presents six works in as many media, and makes the listener pay close attention to the track listing and credits. The "Symphony No. 29, arranged for trombone and band, Op. 289," gives the fullest account of Hovhaness' mildly atmospheric harmonies and melodically fluid style, a mixture of late Romantic tone-painting, Western hymnody, and Eastern mysticism that runs throughout the work in a somber ecumenical procession. The solemn intonations of trombonist Christian Lindberg and the organ-like sonorities of the Ohio State University Concert Band, under Keith Brion, fully convey Hovhaness' devotional intentions. The "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Op. 282," warmly recited by actor Michael York and sensuously played by accordionist Diane Schmidt, conductor Gerard Schwarz, and the Seattle Symphony, is more pointedly exotic and theatrical; the success of the piece depends more on the narrator's delivery, though, than on the music, which is mostly coloristic in effect and fairly bland. "The Prayer of St. Gregory, the Celestial Fantasy, the Gloria Patri from the Magnificat, Op. 157," and the "Bagatelles for string quartet, Op. 30," are much shorter and less impressive than the first two works, but contribute to a fuller portrait of this idiosyncratic composer in all his diffuse interests and stylistic experiments. The sound quality is well-balanced and clear.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/12/2005
Label:
Delos Records
UPC:
0013491335223
catalogNumber:
3352
Rank:
289856

Tracks

  1. Symphony No.29, for baritone horn (or trombone) & band, Op. 289 (arranged by Hovhaness)
  2. Rubaiyat, for speaker, accordion & orchestra, Op. 308
  3. Prayer of St. Gregory (interlude from opera "Etchmiadzin"), for trumpet & string orchestra, Op. 62b
  4. Celestial Fantasy, for string orchestra, Op. 44
  5. Magnificat for SATB soloists, SATB chorus & orchestra, Op. 157: Part 12. Gloria Patri
  6. Bagatelles (4) for string quartet, Op. 30

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