This historic recording of Hovhaness's Piano Concerto "Lousadzak" (Coming of Light) Op. 48, and the 'Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Strings Op. 89a' is what I put on after returning home from work, and it's really wonderful. The interpretations are spot-on, which should come as no surprise; the "Friends of Armenian Music", a committee headed by the pianist Maro Ajemian and her sister, violinist Anahid Ajemian (who are the soloists on this album), knew Hovhaness and his music very well. Maro Ajemian was one of his greatest champions and recorded much of AH's works (during the mid 1940s-late 50s). While there are some rare LPs floating around, most are simply not available at this time.
A bit of info about the pianist Maro Ajemian. I do not recall where it's from.
Maro Ajemian, an American pianist, was of Armenian heritage. Because of this shared heritage, she chose to give the American premiere of Khachaturian's fabulous new piano concerto as a graduate student at the Juillard School. She subsequently took the concerto on tour, and gained a reputation as a performer of contemporary music.
During this concert tour, she had the opportunity to meet a number of contemporary composers including Ernst Krenek, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Alan Hovhaness, Lou Harrison, and Gunther Schuller, all eager for her to play their music. Many premieres of works by these composers followed. She became a real champion of the work of her contemporaries, also performing often with her sister, the violinist Anahid Ajemian.
The four sonatas for prepared piano by John Cage, philosopher and composer of music, are fabulous pieces and wonderfully, and sensitively, played by Maro Ajemian to whom Cage dedicated the Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano.
Alan Hovhaness, also of Armenian extraction, was a favorite composer. Ajemian's performances of his music were instrumental in bring him national attention.
|Maro Ajemian, Hovhaness and Anahid Ajemian.|
|And one of my favorite images of the great A.H.|
1) Lousadzak: Concerto No. 1 For Piano and String Orchestra, Op. 48 (17:43)
Concerto No. 2 For Violin And String Orchestra, Op. 89a
2) 1. Pastoral (2:21)
3) 2. Aria (5:11)
4) 3. Allegro (1:23)
5) 4. Aria (2:31)
6) 5. Presto (2:47)
7) 6. Recitative And Lullaby (6:15)
8) 7. Hymn (5:56)