Someone recently requested Hovhaness's Saint Vartan Symphony which is one of his finest and most interesting symphonies. I was most certain that I already shared it here. Well, I was wrong. The only solution is to finally post it. Because that's just how smart I am. The symphony has two parts and is actually made up of 24 short movements. I have a feeling that "Saint Vartan" is the only symphony that has a movement that is for piano and trombone only (Mvt. no. 14). The majority of the 24 short movements call for strings, horn, trumpet and various percussion. Solemn ceremonial arias are contrasted with lively, canonic dances and simply put the ride is exciting, the journey is entirely fresh and brimming with non-stop invention. "Artik" (named after a 7th century octagonal Armenian church) is a Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra that is solemn and extremely beautiful. This recording is (another) absolute treasure from Crystal Records.
The fine booklet contains notes on "Artik" written by Hovhaness and I will type it and the rest out tomorrow, it is getting late here.
This is perhaps the most unflattering cover. A bad photo is only made worse when it appears to have been cut out with scissors and pasted by a 5 year old. And who would dare forsake the special effects in favor of the green screen? Ah well.
|The original LP (from 1973 I believe) on Hovhaness's own Poseidon Society label.|