Visionary Landscapes features the music of Alan Hovanhess as performed by pianist/writer Sahan Arzruni in a fitting match of art and history. Arzruni and Hovanhess share a deep interest and pride in their Armenian roots, as well as in the historical and cosmic meanings of all the world's music. An appealing collection, Visionary Landscapes collects key Hovanhess compositions from 1948 to 1968, when the composer was deep in exploring Armenian and Far Eastern traditions in his music. Arzruni's performance brings Hovanhess' works to life, from the atmospheric "Mystic Temple" to the structured yet vivid "Visionary Landscapes" suite. Arzruni's expressive playing -- which includes brushing, picking and striking the piano strings with sticks and emulating Japanese bells and Middle Eastern lutes -- arrives at a fascinating mix of innovation and history.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares