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“My purpose is to create music not for snobs, but for all people; music which is beautiful and healing – to attempt what old Chinese painters called ‘spirit resonance’ in melody and sound.” Alan Hovhaness
Heralded by a New York Times article appearing August 28, 2011 — honoring the centenary year of Hovhaness’ birth – Delos celebrates this wonderfully eclectic “American Mystic’s” glowing niche in the pantheon of American musical history from a new angle: Hovhaness as a composer of what we now call “world music” … though on a more exalted plane than most of that genre’s content. We call Hovhaness a “mystic” largely due to his insatiable curiosity about pan-global musical traditions: primarily exotic-sounding middle- and far-Eastern modes, scales and rhythms that – owing to their “alien” impact upon western ears – tend to convey mystically spiritual impressions. On top of his own Armenian musical roots, he compulsively explored the music of other Arabic regions – as well as the traditions of India, Japan, Korea and Indonesia – absorbing them all into his overall musical consciousness, to be tapped at need to suit his unique creative designs. Accordingly, Delos has combed through its many distinguished previous recordings of Hovhaness’ music to find the individual works that best support such a “world music” classification. And everything fits: Like that of many current world music artists, the music of Hovhaness blends disparate musical influences and impulses in musical “fusions” that are framed by western contexts of sound, form and instrumentation.
Alan Hovhaness: Prayer of St. Gregory, Op. 62b
Prayer of St. Gregory, Op. 62b
Alan Hovhaness: Rubaiyat, Op. 308
Rubaiyat, Op. 308
Alan Hovhaness: 4 Bagatelles, Op. 30
Alan Hovhaness: Symphony No. 2, Op. 132, "Mysterious Mountain"
I. Andante con moto
II. Double Fugue
III. Andante espressivo
Alan Hovhaness: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 147
V. Gamelan in Sosi Style
I. Spirit Murmur
Alan Hovhaness: The Flowering Peach, Op. 125
II. Lifting of Voices
II. Building of the Ark
V. Love Song
VI. Sun and Moon
VII. Rainbow Hymn
Alan Hovhaness: And God Created Great Whales, Op. 229, No. 1
And God Created Great Whales, Op. 229, No. 1
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.