Monday, September 22, 2014

Hovhaness - **Janabar - Talin - Shambala (Concerto for Sitar, Violin and Orchestra)**

This is one of the most important Hovhaness releases ever from some years back. It contains "Shambala", a Concerto for Sitar, Violin, and Orchestra and was the very first "classical" composition to include the sitar. Ravi Shankar attempted to do so also a year later, no wonder he was inspired-but the result was not impressive. Shambala however is a long, mystical journey; at turns meditative, mysterious, quiet, powerful, sweeping...I could go on and on. "Janabar" is subtitled "Five Hymns of Serenity for Trumpet, Violin, Piano and String Orchestra". It is too a remarkable work. -Here, however, is where the annoyance begins- this is a 126-minute 96kHz|24bit DualDisc (one side is CD, other is DVD audio) and for some reason that I can't imagine, only the DVD side contains ALL three works in their entirety. So, "Janabar" on cd is only one of the five movents (!) the whole work only on the DVD side. What bothers me the most, is that the same is the case with "Talin" (a Concerto for Viola and Strings) which is one of Hovhaness's greatest achievements. Until this release, it was almost impossible to get hold of any documentation of "Talin" in it's original form (Viola). *I have posted earlier on, a version of Talin for Clarinet and Strings which you should check out. But it's just mot the same. Puzzling is that Talin is really considered one of the best works by an "American" composer yet it's been hidden away really like buried treasure beneath the ocean floor. Thus I find it crazy to finally have a first rate recording of it, where all three movements once again are *only* available on the DVD side(!)
****If anyone has ideas about how I can extract/import the DVD side PLEASE let me know; I have googled it, tried a couple things with NO results. I of course can play the whole thing on my mac or dvd player. But that sucks.

-So, enjoy the complete "Shambala" and the excerpts from "Talin" and Janabar".

Here's a few reviews:

The performance of the double concerto for violin, sitar and orchestra Shambala (1969) is the first of any kind. The work was commissioned by Mehuhin to play with Ravi Shankar but was never performed. Intensely Indian in spirit (unsurprisingly as Hovhaness was an Indian music scholar), Shambala (a mythical Himalayan realm) plays as a substantial, structurally freewheeling span for 45 minutes, with improvised passages for the sitar alternating with notated ones for the violin and dialogues between the two. It is played superbly here, ironically, by Shankar pupil Gaurav Mazumdar, partnered by Christina Fong, who plays in all three concertos on OgreOgress's DualDisc and has a long history of Hovhaness performances to her credit. --Guy Rickards, Gramophone, April 2009

Janabar means Journey. It is classic Hovhaness and very appealing. Janabar was the big discovery for me; it has become a favorite piece. I have known Talin since 1959, when I discovered the MGM recording with Emanuel Vardi. The only other recording I know of in all these years used the clarinet in place of the viola. I like the music enough not to mind too much, but I am really glad to have an excellent new recording on viola. I have always thought of it as a viola concerto. The soloist in the third work (Shambala) plays the sitar, so it sounds very Indian. If you like Indian classical music and the sound of the sitar, you are bound to like this long, rather diffuse work. --Don Vroon, American Record Guide, July/August 2008

What proves to be the most outstanding aspect of the release is the work called Janabar, or 'Five Hymns of Serenity.' Hovhaness enthusiasts who have become disillusioned by the shockingly high proportion of dross within the composer's output, especially during the last three decades of his life, have cause to rejoice. Talin … is revered among Hovhaness admirers as one of his most profoundly inspired works … Shambala is said to be the first orchestral work to incorporate the sitar, although the following year Shankar composed his own 'Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra,' which I heard at the time and recall as abysmally bad. --Walter Simmons, Fanfare, 2008


Anonymous said...

Sublime.Fascinant.Super.Bravoooooooooooooooooo MONSTER TZADIK,GRACIAS FOR OPUS SUPER OF HOVHANESS,MILLON GRACIAS!! Tapirman

Anonymous said...

Seeing that disc I kinda hoped that you would be able to share DVD files to... I already have CD side files shared some time ago from somewhere.

I think you may need special hardware to extract DVD audio files. I have some DVD audio discs too and was not able to copy them easily.

Thanks anyway.


Tzadik said...

Hola Tapirman you are suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper welcome!! Enjoy the Hovhaness friend. Saludos!

Tzadik said...

Yes Piterets that's the problem. I don't know how to do that. I know it has to be possible, but I tried a few things and none of them worked. I don;t know why on earth they had to make it this way for such an important release; it should have been just double cds!

Unknown said...

Mysterious, hypnotic, raga-like, Shambala is an amazing experience.
Another gem you share.
Thanks and regards from Brazil.
Sergio Pontalti

Anonymous said...

You can extract just the audio content of any DVD to a sound file by using one of the tools which accompany the free media player VLC. I did it myself recently, then burnt the results to a CD. Or you can download any free sound recorder software then simply play the DVD on your computer while recording the output.. Hope that helps! Richard

nhac giaohuong said...

Some file zip cannot un-zip, can you re-check ?

1) Colin_McPhee_Balinese_Ceremonial_Music

2) Hovhaness_ Concerto_For Two Pianos_Lousadzak

3) Martinu_Concertos_ Harpsichord.Oboe.Cello

4) Martinů_Sym_6_Bouquet_of_Flowers_Tz

and more....

Thank you very much !

Good luck to you

From Viet Nam..........

Tzadik said...

Hello Sergio, thank you for the comments & you are of course very welcome. Shambala is an amazing experience, happy you agree :-) Regards!

Tzadik said...

Hi Richard, VLC is the first thing I tried actually, I had heard it would work. I couldn't however get it to :/
I appreciate the info though, I dunnoo if I want to install a sound recorder or not, I don't really have many dvd audio discs to make it worth it. But perhaps. Kind regards

Tzadik said...

Hey again nhac, I'll go check them out...

Tzadik said...

Also, nhac, what do you use to open archives? There are many apps to use, perhaps the prob is what you are using? Let me know if you can. Thanks

Tzadik said...

nhac, I just finished downloading each one and they unzipped (opened) just fine for me. Try to use a different prog to open them, there are many options.
Again what do you use?

nhac giaohuong said...

I used WIN-RAR to unzip all of files which I downloaded from Internet. Sadly, all files are OK when un-zip, except some files from your blog. However, you don't bother about that any more

Thanks again, my dear friend

Anonymous said...

Thank for Sitar concerto!!! very very intresting!!

Congratulations for your blog!!!


Tzadik said...

Hi nhac. I feel bad, I don't know why you should have issues with files only on my blog. Again I suggest trying another program along with winrar, there's so many out there, free and easy. Kind regards

Tzadik said...

Hi Gutiz, you are most welcome for the Hovhaness :)
And thank you for commenting, and the kind words. Tz

Tzadik said...

Hi Gutiz, you are most welcome for the Hovhaness :)
And thank you for commenting, and the kind words. Tz

Anonymous said...

nhac is right, there are 3 tracks in that zip
one of them is that intriguing bizarre sitar symphony, i hope i could survive it.
but why you insist those of Shankar are worse ? if i recall it, they are not comparable, completely different mood / state of mind

any case, thanks for all

mrsblucher said...

An easy answer for you Tzadik - Handbrake!!!

It's very intuitive, and the default settings work fine. Another pleasure of using a mac - no extra hardware required.

Can't tell you how much it means finding this blog. I've listened to predominantly independent, psychedelic, abstract, improv, electronic, modern composition, new music for 25 years, and have come across the likes of Duckworth/Part/Riley/Young, but classical has eluded me because the more obvious accessible stuff doesn't connect. What you're sharing is a missing link for me - I can consistently dip into what you share and find something enjoyable, and it's opening up a whole new world.

I could (and probably should) comment on every post to say - Thank You!

Also the care you take with naming files (tagged) is a major timesaver, and much appreciated.

JImmy D said...

Hi Tzadik

The Zippyfile expired. Can you re-post?

Good music, thank you for posting! Enjoy your comments, too.