ClassicsOnline Home » HOVHANESS, A.: Symphonies Nos. 7, 14, 23 (Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra, Brion)
Dedicated to the memory of Lady Evelyn Barbirolli, widow of Sir John Barbirolli, a noted oboist, and Honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, this disc brings together three of Alan Hovhaness’s most fascinating scores. His Symphony No. 7 ‘Nanga Parvat’ depicts the sublime topography and tiger-like ferocity of that majestic Kashmiri mountain. Hovhaness was inspired, in his own words, by the ‘wild fierceness of volcanic earthquakes and avalanche-shaken mountains’ when composing his Symphony No. 14 ‘Ararat’, while the bells of the thousand and one cathedrals of the ruined Armenian city Ani resound in the Symphony No. 23.
By John von Rhein
Alan Hovhaness (1911–2000): Symphony No. 7 ‘Nanga Parvat’
Symphony No. 14 ‘Ararat’ • Symphony No. 23 ‘Ani’
Symphony No. 7 ‘Nanga Parvat’ was commissioned by the American Wind Symphony of Pittsburgh PA and composed 16th to 28 November 1959. Nanga Parvat is a Kashmir mountain of 26,000 feet—serene, majestic, aloof, terrible in storm, forever frozen in treeless snow. The name means “Without Trees”. It is one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains to climb.
Symphony No. 14 ‘Ararat’ was commissioned by the American Wind Symphony of Pittsburgh PA. Wild fierceness of volcanic earthquakes and avalancheshaken mountains, rough stones, caves, rocks sculptured by tornadoes inspired this symphony of rough-hewn sounds.
The poet Isahagian, writes of the peak of Mt. Ararat: “Infinite lightnings have touched the sword of the diamond.”
There are no folk-tunes in any of the music. Traditional ragas and modes are suggested, but all of the melodies are original.
Symphony No. 23 ‘Ani’ was commissioned by the Smithtown Central High School Symphonic Band, Lawrence Sobol, conductor, and composed between 1st and 18 January 1972. Ani is the name of a ruined city, the capital of medieval Armenia, “city of a thousand and one cathedrals”.
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HOVHANESS, A.: Symphonies Nos. 7, 14, 23 (Trinity ...