Saturday, November 15, 2014

Alan Hovhaness: Music for Horn, Voice, and Strings - 'Artik' Concerto for Horn & Orchestra - 'Psalm & Fugue' No. 2 - Concerto No. 3 "Diran" (The Religous Singer) - 'Angelic Song' Cantata

This Centaur disc from 2007 has 3 premiere recordings on it; definitely part of the attraction. The two works already recorded are "Chahagir" for Solo Viola (also on the OgreOgress disc I posted) and "Artik", Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra (which gets a very fine reading on Crystal Records)

The works date mostly from Hovhaness's "Armenian period", specifically using what he called his "contrapuntal, harmonic, modal style" of the time, as opposed to the non-harmonic linear style of those other Armenian-period works like Lousadzak. Hovhaness's use of solo horn (as with trumpet) is very lyrical, rather like that of priest or cantor in church liturgy, thus both the instrumental "Artik" and "Diran" are overtly religious in nature.



"Artik" opens the disc, and is an 8-movement concerto for horn and strings, although its all-pervading serenity soon demolishes any traditional notion of antagonism between soloist and tutti. As Karen Griebling points out in her perceptive notes, the work "exemplifies 'call-and-response' structures, with the horn singing out the calls and the string choir responding with motets". Robin Dauer (Arkansas State University French Horn Professor) undertakes Artik's beautiful solo horn part with appropriate sensitivity and warmth.

What momentarily appears to be a 9th movement of Artik is in fact the start of "Psalm and Fugue No.2". This hitherto unknown Hovhaness work for horn quartet may have been composed in just one day for the horn player Morris Secon (it's dedicatee) after Hovhaness had seen him perform Artik the previous day at the Eastman School of Music in 1954. For this premiere recording, Robin Dauer plays all four horn parts
.
The second premiere recording on this disc is "Concerto No. 3", subtitled "Diran the Religious Singer"after Diran Dinjian, chief singer at the Watertown, MA church where Hovhaness was organist in the early 1940s. This three-movement work is scored for either baritone horn or trombone and strings. As in Artik the writing is restrained and lyrical.

We then unexpectedly switch to the sound of the solo viola. Hovhaness's "Chahagir" is given a committed performance by Karen Griebling, for whom the work's considerable double-stopping presents no problems. 


"Angelic Song" is a quarter-hour cantata for Soprano (or tenor), Horn and Strings from 1948. Those familiar with Hovhaness' contemporaneous cantata "Avak the Healer", will be familiar with the overall style and mood. Vocal duties are undertaken by Suzanne Banister (Hendrix Adjunct Faculty Soprano), and if the Hendrix College strings sound slightly ill-at-ease in a couple of places here, it is nothing to spoil the overall enjoyment, nor detract from the importance of having this work committed to disc - some 60 years after it was written!

**The last track on the disc, #20 (last mvt of the Cantata) I could NOT get to import, it worked 50%
of the way and then stopped every time. I even tried several programs. Sorry everyone. I will do my best to locate the last track somehow, as my disc somehow is being disagreeable. Thus there are 19 tracks altogether, not 20.

Track listing:

1. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Alleluia
2. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Ballata
3. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Laude
4. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Canzona, To a Mountain Range
5. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Processional
6. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Canon
7. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Aria
8. Artik, concerto for horn & strings, Op. 78: Intonazione
9. Psalm and Fugue No. 2, for 4 horns: Psalm
10. Psalm and Fugue No. 2, for 4 horns: Fugue
11. Concerto 3 ('Diran'), for baritone horn (or trombone) & strings, Op. 94: Canzona: Andante
12. Concerto 3 ('Diran'), for baritone horn (or trombone) & strings, Op. 94: Aria: Moderato
13. Concerto 3 ('Diran'), for baritone horn (or trombone) & strings, Op. 94: Gloria: Allegro
14. Chahagir, for viola solo, Op. 56/1
15. Angelic Song, cantata for soprano (or tenor), horn & strings, Op. 19: Overture and Fugue
16. Angelic Song, cantata for soprano (or tenor), horn & strings, Op. 19: Verse 1
17. Angelic Song, cantata for soprano (or tenor), horn & strings, Op. 19: Verse 2
18. Angelic Song, cantata for soprano (or tenor), horn & strings, Op. 19: Verse 3
19. Angelic Song, cantata for soprano (or tenor), horn & strings, Op. 19: Invocation

20. Angelic Song, cantata for soprano (or tenor), horn & strings, Op. 19: Verse 4 **omitted 

Enjoy!


Hovhaness_Music_for_Horn_Voice_and_Strings_Tzadik.zip

http://www44.zippyshare.com/v/32491987/file.html

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

YES!!!!

pol peres said...

Thank you very much!

Tzadik said...

Well, YES!!!!

Tzadik said...

Hi there Pol, you are welcome. Thx for commenting!

Toon van Dijk said...

Many thanks and regards from The Netherlands.
Veel dank en groeten uit Nederland.

Tubarec said...

Wonderful Tzadik...how about the missing track??? Greetings from Argentina