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Requiem & Resurrection, Op 224


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Audio CD, August 19, 1993
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Audio, Cassette, May 12, 1999
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$15.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Requiem & Resurrection, Op 224 + Alan Hovhaness: Exile Symphony + Music of Alan Hovhaness: Saint Vartan Symphony; Artik
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Editorial Reviews


1. Requiem And Resurrection Op. 224 - A. Hovhaness
2. Symphony No. 19 - Vishnu - Op. 217 - A. Hovhaness

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 19, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Crystal Records
  • ASIN: B000003J74
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,723 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Gray VINE VOICE on August 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Here is Hovhaness' most eclectic work. Probably the most free-form type symphony ever to be recorded, "Vishnu" shows off both Hovhaness' fascination with Eastern mythology and stereo systems. From the rumbling of the drums to the clashing cymbals, "Vishnu" is to classical music what Metallica is to Heavy Metal music.
This disc starts with the fine "Requiem and Resurrection". Almost all classical composers eventually want to depict the life, death, and resurrection of Christ at some time in their lives, and Hovhaness was no exception. Hovhaness' fascination with Eastern motifs adds an appropriate Middle Eastern flavor to his "Requiem" and his use of brass adds a wonderful boldness to his "Resurrection". Although they are two parts of a single piece of music, it's easy to see where the "Resurrection" begins.
But the true gem of this disc lies in Hovaness' own interpretation of his Symphony # 19, "Vishnu". Vishnu is regarded as a major god in Hinduism. He is thought of as the preserver of the universe. Hovhaness returns again to his appropriate Eastern flavor with this symphony, and with Hovhaness at the baton, we will never have a better look at what was desired by the composer.
"Vishnu" is at once discordant and beautiful. Because of the theme of the preserver of the universe, this switching back and forth, almost as though you could possibly be improvisational with a symphony, adds a luster to this recording that fans of Hovhaness will find lovely, but others may find simply disquieting. It's as though you could see into the mind of a God - having to be everywhere and do everything all at the same time. It's almost a humbling experience.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Gleeson on June 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is quite simply magnificent. Like many others, I came across excerpts of 'Symphony No. 19' on the 'Cosmos' TV series, and for 20 years or so, searched for the piece on record. I eventually found it on CD, was initially taken aback by the sheer breath and scope of this work. The Symphony is in one movement, beginning with a short, almost chaotic assemblage of notes clustered together denoting the birth, death and tumultous life of swirling galaxies. It settles down to a sedate rendering of delightful melodies, which hallmark the strengths of the composer, and alternate between the 'chaos' and melody throughout. Don't for one minute dismiss this as 'difficult' or 'abstract' music. It is neither. Hovaness' gift lies with an innate understanding of the beauty of the musical form.
Highly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Bertonneau on June 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Music-lovers seem to be rediscovering Alan Hovhaness (1911 - 2000) thanks, in part, to the advocacy of some youngish conductors - for example, Gerard Schwarz and Vakhtang Jordania. In the 1940s and 50s, Hovhaness enjoyed the good offices of such lights as Leopold Stokowski and Fritz Reiner (as unlikely as that seems) on his behalf. In the 1960s, however, he relied on commissions from regional orchestras and non-stellar music-directors. Then in the 1970s he undertook to make his own case, so to speak, launching his Poseidon label to disseminate recordings of his music, under his own direction, with professional orchestras whenever possible. Works like the "Saint Vartan" Symphony (No. 9, 1948) and "Majnun" (No. 24, 1973) found their way into the black vinyl grooves. The record-sleeves were Spartan: black and white, with the same ink-sketch of a ruined Armenian tower on the cover, and minimal notes on the back. Later, Unicorn licensed some of these recordings and reissued them in packaging more attractive than the original. In recent years, the entire Poseidon catalogue has reappeared on compact disc through the efforts of Peter Christ of Crystal Records, now based in Washington State. It is not impossible that the "Vishnu" Symphony (No. 19, 1966) will be committed again to disc for commercial distribution - but I would not want to bet my paycheck on it. Good it is, therefore, to have Hovhaness' own interpretation of this odd, sometimes frightening, but finally endearing score on compact disc. The composer leads the "Sevan Philharmonic," probably one of the London recording orchestras under a pseudonym, in a convincing performance.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Alan Hovhaness (1911 -- 2000) composed his symphony no. 19, "Vishnu" in 1966 under commission from the New York Philharmonic and Andre Kostelanitz. The 1967 premier was not auspicious; Kostelanitz edited the composer's 30 minute symphony to a work of eleven minutes. Highly disappointed, Hovhaness recorded and conducted the symphony in England with an orchestra identified only as the Sevan Philharmonic. In the 1980s Carl Sagan used portions of the "Vishnu" symphony for his "Cosmos" TV series.

This symphony showed me an aspect of Hovhaness that I didn't know much about. Portions of the work are written in a style called "aleatoric" or "senza misura". These terms mean roughly free rhythm. The composer writes the notes, but the musicians play at different tempos, creating a sound Hovhaness called "controlled chaos". Hovhannes used this technique in the 1940s and later claimed, with a degree of exaggeration, to have invented it. Avant garde composers used aleatoric techniques a great deal in the 1950s. When I first heard the "Vishnu", I was puzzled and looked for discussions of it more detailed than the composer's own liner notes. I found an extended essay by Nicolo Athens: "A Man of Two Worlds: Alan Hovhaness and his Symphony No. 19, op 217, 'Vishnu'" which helped me a good deal. The title "Man of Two Worlds" derives from the name of a television documentary about Indian premier Nehru. Hovhaness composed background music for the documentary and later drew on the music for the "Vishnu" symphony.

As with much of Hovhaness, the symphony has themes of spirituality and nature. Vishnu is an Indian God and preserver of the universe. The symphony is in a single movement and is scored for a large orchestra.
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Requiem & Resurrection, Op 224
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