- Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000)
- Boston Modern Orchestra Project
- Gil Rose, conductor
Back when I was a teenager, I was obsessed with the music of Alan Hovhaness, and was also uninhibited to an extent that is a bit embarrassing in retrospect. During that period, after attending a concert of the New York Philharmonic, I forced my way back to Leonard Bernstein’s dressing room, and asked him whether he ever intended to perform anything by Hovhaness.
One doubts that the world will ever wholly manage to come to terms with the music of Hovhaness. The sheer volume of his output – over five hundred works including seven operas and sixty-seven symphonies, and that excludes his music before 1940 much of which was destroyed by the composer – rivals the prolixity of seventeenth century composers such as Bach or Vivaldi.
When a composer has written well over 500 works, one can assume that there will be some unevenness in his production. Despite the fact that a number of Alan Hovhaness's pieces have entered the standard repertoire and that recording projects turn up interesting, little-heard music by the composer on a regular basis, Hovhaness's production is indeed uneven. Remarkably, those 500 works are just the tip of the musical iceberg.
For a composer known of because of his 67 symphonies and seven operas this disc presents Hovhaness the miniaturist.
Imagined Armenias. Undoubtedly, Alan Hovhaness stands as an American original. He has taken from very few. He sounds like nobody else. You can tell a Hovhaness work within a few seconds. Others have even made use of his innovations without, of course, his unique poetry or giving him any credit at all. Hovhaness composed music easily -- like writing a letter, as he put it. Forget Mozart and the Marriage of Figaro overture. Hovhaness, dissatisfied with a symphony in rehearsal, did turn out an entirely new movement in a night.
BMOP/sound, the nation's foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music recordings, today announced the release of two new albums for 2011 – Alan Hovhaness: Exile Symphony (Release: 10/2011) and Eric Moe: Kick & Ride (Release: 11/2011). Marking 21 records to date, BMOP/sound continues to showcase orchestral works that are otherwise unavailable in recorded form.