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Music of Alan Hovhaness

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 19, 1993
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sym No. 11 'All Men Are Brothers': Andante appassionato/Allegro maestoso/Andante con nobilita - RPO/Alan Hovhaness
  2. Armenian Rhap No.1 - Crystal Chm Orch
  3. Prayer Of St. Gregory - Thomas Stevens
  4. Tzaikerk - Eudice Shapiro/Gretel Shanley


Product Details

  • Performer: Thomas Stevens, Eudice Shapiro, Gretel Shanley
  • Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Crystal Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Alan Hovhaness, Ernest Gold
  • Composer: Alan Hovhaness
  • Audio CD (August 19, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Crystal Records
  • ASIN: B000003J70
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas F. Bertonneau on June 4, 2003
I made the acquaintance of Alan Hovhaness' Symphony No. 11, "All Men Are Brothers" (1961) via the Unicorn LP reissue, in the mid-1970s, of the slightly earlier Poseidon-label LP produced by the composer himself as part of his bid to convey his music to a wider audience than previously in performances under his own direction. The companion piece on the program was the orchestral fantasy "Fra Angelico." One commentator on Hovhaness writes that his earlier symphonies (in a sequence that eventually entailed some sixty-seven contributions to the genre) tend to be his most distinctive, with Symphony No. 2, "Mysterious Mountain" (1954), providing the pattern. The harmony is modal, the melodies often carry the flavor of the composer's ancestral homeland, Armenia, and the devices are baroque rather than classical. Hovhaness writes chorales, sets of variations, canons, and fugues. The rhythms are often asymmetrical dance-rhythms. Hovhaness sometimes sounds like an Anatolian George Frederick Handel. "All Men Are Brothers" uses the same three-movement plan as "Mysterious Mountain," but it is a longer work, needing about thirty-fives minutes where the earlier score needs only eighteen or twenty. The three movements are (1) "Andante Appassionato", (2) "Allegro Maestoso," and (3) "Andante con Nobilita." The First Movement is something on the order of a chaconne or passacaglia, with a "love theme" (so-called) cycling through the orchestra and appearing, with note-values augmented, in the coda. The Second Movement is sectional, culminating in a fugue. The Third Movement encompasses a fugue but concludes in a solemn and festive chorale. Hovhaness' own program-note invokes a vision of the Buddha for the Third Movement. My description of Hovhaness' music is "serene.Read more ›
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01-27-14 Alan Hovhaness strikes a cord witj me in his mystical and romantic view of the world, indeed of existance. He does so with millions of listeners all over the Earth and, hence his music is generally well recieved in concert halls and recitaL AUDITORIUMS. TROUBLE IS GETTING THESE WORKS PROGRAMED IN THE FIRST PLACE. He has only one consistant champion thatv I am aware of, that being Gerard Schwarz, formerly the Music Director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, a very good 2nd tier American ensemble. This maestro has recorded a fair amount of Hovhaness's work, for Seattle, and mopre recently, the Liverpool Philharmonic as well as an occasional European group. But, it's simply not enough. I do believe thaT WHEN AMERICAN AUDIENCES HEAR HOVHANESS, MOST OF THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME, THEY WILL LIKE IT, AND WANT TO HEAR MORE.
The Symphony #11, "All Men are Brothers " was premiered on MaRCH 12, 1961 BY NTHE NEW ORLEANS PHILHARMONIC UNDER FREDERICK FENNELL. THE WORK WAS THEN TOTALLY REVISED AND THE NEW VERSION WAS FIRSAT HEARD ON MAZRCH 31, 1970, IN NEW ORLEANS, UNDER WERNER TORKANOWSKY. I KNOW OF NO OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THIS SYMPHONY. IT IS, HOWEVER, NOTABLE THAT IT IS IN ONE MOVEMENT, here lasting 32:26.
The music is built on the ternary form of "A/B/A" aND, AS SUCH HAS ANOPENING "MOVEMENT" MARKED "ANDANTE APPASSIONATO", which runs for 08:17 the middle "Allegro maestoso is 12:30 long and then we return to a concluding "Andante con nobilita>" this is it, a fairly good sized work which until this very moment I had note heard a single note of. My very first imporessions are as follows.
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I first heard the Symphony No. 11 several years ago on a FM radio station, I managed to get some it recorded but my attempts to track it down were fruitless until I checked here.
Describing music to someone is hard to do, I shall attempt... Hovhanness has his own style which one clearly hears during the different tracks on this CD. The Symphony No. 11 "All Men Are Brothers" at the time it was composed about 1969/70 was a poltical statememtn about the Cold War, Viet Nam, etc. It still works today I think if you dump the overt poltiics of the song. The piece takes you through its own little journey, tenative steps at first and then building over so much as the song develops to the resounding ending.
"Armenian Rhapsody No. 1" starts off with a deep pulsating melody that builds, weaving it's own charm as it goes forth. When I got the CD I only wanted it for the first track but I found myself being drawn in by the other pieces, like "Armenian Rhapsody No. 1". Once I started playing the CD I found myself becoming totally amazed at the level of complexity and simplicty involved with the composed tracks.
"Prayer Of St. Gregory" would have to be my second favorite track on the CD. The trumpet work by Thomas Stevens is truely captivating, you'll find yourself wanting to press the back button to listen to it again.
All in all I would recommend the CD to someone looking for something a little different.
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