MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



cover image

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Alan HOVHANESS (1911 - 2000) Vision from High Rock op. 195 (1954) [11:40] Symphony No. 15 Silver Pilgrimage op. 199 (1963) [25:27] Mountain of Prophecy op. 195 [8:30]
Michael YOUNG (b. 1939) Secrets (1987-88) [9:49]
Gregory SHORT (1938 - 1999) Mount Takhoma (1966) [11:49]
Northwest SO/Anthony Spain
Northwest SO/Anthony Spain
rec. Chapel of Bastyr University, Seattle, Washington, USA, 1-13 April 1997
KOCH INTERNATIONAL 3-7399-2 HI [67:14]

Experience Classicsonline

The rate at which the vast expanse of Hovhaness's music has found its way onto disc is painfully sluggish although the tempo has certainly picked up over the last few decades. The present disc slipped by and I am pleased now to have caught up with this mountain-themed collection.

Vision from High Rock refers to High Rock near Lynn in Massachusetts. It's a work that Hovhaness fanatics may have heard in an off-air recording of the Stokowski-conducted premiere in Detroit on 17 February 1955. It is one of the composer's finest works in his aureate-serene vein with hymnal strings, hieratic brass, woodwind flurries or slow caprices and an argent jangle of priestly bells fading into misty eternity. It's a sensationally affecting piece.

We know the Silver Pilgrimage from a First Edition Louisville recording. This one from Koch is richer and more atmospheric. The work is in four movements: Mount Ravana, Marava Princess, River of Meditation and Heroic Gates of Peace. It was commissioned by the Watumill Foundation and was written while Hovhaness was travelling on a studying fellowship in Korea and Japan. Mount Ravana is a disturbing piece in which the tam-tam, drums and chilly rain-pattering pizzicato slowly racks up the tension. Marava Princess uses a curvaceous Sibelian melody which seems constantly to rotate like a mobius strip in motion. At 11:02 River of Meditation returns to the awed threat borne high by Mount Ravana here voiced by drums, bells, tam-tam, groaning deep strings and tentative wailing woodwind. Heroic Gates of Peace is a priestly march with rolling brass chorales ringing in leisurely pacing around the firmament. The music sounds at times like a grand extrapolation from the Two Veterans movement from Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams.

Mountain of Prophecy mixes dissonance, icily awed Sibelian abstractions from the Fourth Symphony with eerie high-cruising violins, shivering strings in Tapiola mode and the immanence of mysteries hidden from western knowledge.

Michael Young's Secrets is the meditative middle movement of his Symphony No. 1 Mountain. It's a work of the finest textures: very lucid, tonal, trembling with bells and the boundless sense of high places. Young studied at the University of Washington with George McKay. He is a prolific composer and an avid mountain climber. I would like to hear more by this composer including the whole of the First Symphony.

Gregory Short's Mount Takhoma is related in its placid smiling confidence and slow blossoming majesty to Copland's Appalachian Spring. It is a most beautiful and succinct piece with just a touch of the Hovhaness magic. It also possesses an uncomplicated sweetness of utterance which is amplified by the resonance in benediction of the vibraphone. Towards the end there are intimations of terror completely in keeping with the wildness of the mountain. The Takhoma in question is the 14,411 feet peak which can be seen from Seattle. The city of Tacoma to the west of this, the highest of Washington state's six peaks, bears the mountain's name.

The recording quality is very satisfying and the liner-notes set the scene very nicely indeed.

Rob Barnett


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.