Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

cover image

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Alan HOVHANESS (1911–2000) Symphony No. 7 Nanga Parvat op. 178 (1959) [14:10] Symphony No. 14 Ararat op. 194 (1960) [14:22] Symphony No. 23 Ani op. 178 (1972) [34:11]
Trinity College of Music/Keith Brion
rec. Blackheath Concert Halls, Trinity College of Music, London, 30-31 January 2008
NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559385 [62:43]

Experience Classicsonline

Keith Brion is no stranger to the music of Hovhaness; the two first met in 1964. He recorded symphonies 7 and 14 with the New Jersey Wind Ensemble in 1969. This was for the Mace label which issued the recordings on LP Mace 9099. More accessibly he was the conductor of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Wind Orchestra in three other Hovhaness wind ensemble symphonies on Naxos. Delos recorded Brion in Hovhaness symphonies 29 and 53 with the Ohio State University Band.

The present disc features two compact three movement symphonies inspired by Mountains - one of Hovhaness's idées fixes and a 35 minute symphony inspired by the ruined city of Ani - the capital of medieval Armenia which rejoiced in 1001 cathedrals. The city and its glories were laid waste by invaders.

Nanga Parvat refers to the dangerous and tree-less Kashmiri mountain of that name. The music conveys a sense of inhumanity and of the forbidding enormity of nature. The style is easily recognisable: rolling brass figures amid a firmament mapped out by the Venetian Gabrielis, the dissonance of the 20th century and the exoticism of hypnotic harp, drum, flute and oboe. Ararat was also a commission by the American Wind Symphony of Pittsburgh PA and again is between 14 and 15 minutes duration. Trumpets call out in typically elongated melodic outlines seeming to limn the horizon. Bells, gong and drums provide commentary and underpinning structural substance. The music buzzes and hums. In the central movement bells and groaning deep brass suggest threat. The finale evokes the earthquake and avalanche-riven Mount Ararat through urgent drum cannonades and piercing trumpet blasts.

Ani was first commercially recorded in the 1970s on the miraculously productive spartanly designed LP label Poseidon - a self-publication project by Hovhaness. The LP was Poseidon 1015 with the Highline and Shoreline College Bands conducted by the composer. The master tape for the Ani sessions was lost and when Crystal began to reissue all those Poseidon and Unicorn originals they had to work from a mint LP. You can hear Seth Winner’s heroically good results on Crystal Records CD809.

Ani was a commission from the Smithtown Central High School Symphonic Band and their conductor Lawrence Sobol. It progresses from mysterious sounds to long-limbed slowly unfolding hymns. We move to birdsong evocations that might just have influenced Reich and Nyman to groaning trombones typical of Hovhaness’s most extreme dissonant style as encountered in the Odysseus (25) and Vishnu (19) symphonies (Crystal) to modal nobility. While the other two symphonies are strong on atmosphere but leave the impression of being short on symphonic moment this symphony has an expansive air and a strong but unconventional sense of continuum. After a pattering gamelan-influenced central movement there is a majestically unfurled adagio finale. This is in effect a grand processional and paean all in one. It somehow manages to be reverent as well as imposing. That it is invocatory of the great ancient city seems entirely apposite – clearly a city thronged, savage, civilised, dangerous, threatening, rich and strange. How refreshing that music of this ilk was being written in 1972.

The disc is dedicated to the memory of the distinguished oboist Lady Evelyn Barbirolli (1911-2008).

The concise liner-notes are by the composer as is the included brief poem Lament to Ani.

The Hovhaness non-windband companions from the Naxos stable are:-

Symphony No. 60 and Guitar Concerto on 8.559294
Symphony No. 22 and Cello Concerto 8.559158
Symphony No. 63 and Guitar Concerto No. 2 8.559336.

Hovhaness’s strongly atmospheric muse reflected in three symphonies for wind band. Surrender to the music and you can be transported to realms undreamt or at least dreamt only by Hovhaness.

Rob Barnett

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
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.