Alan Hovhaness

Lousadek (Dawn of Light), Op. 48 (1945) for Piano and Orchestra /Symphony No. 2, Op.132

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Performed by the American Composers Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies conducting, with Keith Jarrett as piano soloist. Informed by the highly melliferous, floating melodic sense of Armenian song together with simple, refined orchestration, "Lousadek" is a lovely work that nearly caused a riot at its New York premiere as it innocently stepped on the mental toes of the academic chromaticists and the American nationalists in the audience. The symphony "Mysterious Mountain" combines many of the elements of Hovhaness' later style: parallel chordal passages of universal religious feeling (similar to Eastern Orthodox Church chanting), the treatment of canon and fugue in an entirely original manner (more of a variation form), quasi-random pizzicati and strange transparent bells on odd harmonics which suggest landscapes at long distances from civilization. Hovhaness is a prolific composer of nearly 500 compositions to date, but these two pieces will give the listener a good idea of his general instrumental approach.