Unlike the recordings featured on many other discs in the series this one
is not composer-conducted. It also happens to have the longest playing time.
Amos is pictured in conducting action on the back cover insert. The notes
are on a three way fold.
We start with one of Hovhaness's most celebrated works: And God Created
Great Whales (1970). This mixes the taped sounds of the 'song' of various
species of whale (there is a scholarly introduction from Peter Christ indicating
the source of the various recordings and the species of whales) with a mystical
score calling up the wash and depth of an imagined Eastern sea. There are
some parallels here with the taped birdsong in Einojuhani Rautavaara's
Cantus Arcticus. This is a powerful amalgam and made extremely moving
in the counterpoint between the whale song and Hovhaness's inspired music.
The orchestral Concerto No. 8 of 1953 is more even, a thoroughly entertaining
(if undemanding) five-movement suite, inspired, in part, by a flight over
Greenland. The string writing in Alleluia and Fugue (1942) betrays
the early influences of Vaughan Williams as well as Roy Harris's best wide
spaces and open-air manner. Elibris and Anahid (both 1944),
by contrast, derive from Hovhaness's mid-Asian heritage, and make telling
use of a solo flute, here beautifully played by Christine Messiter.
Yet another success story in the Hovhaness/Crystal series.
Price 16.95 US dollars plus 2 US dollars per shipping within USA. Orders
from outside the USA please contact Crystal direct for quote. Credit card
orders (Visa or MC) are accepted.
Crystal Records, 28818 NE Hancock Rd, Camas, WA 98607 phone 360-834-7022,
fax 360-834-9680 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.crystalrecords.com