Alan Hovhaness

Rubaiyat, for speaker, accordion & orchestra, Op. 308

    Description by Walter Simmons

    In Alan Hovhaness' The Rubaiyat (1975) the composer's music provides a framework for spoken readings of verses from the eleventh-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam. Written at the suggestion of conductor André Kostelanetz, one of the composer's most ardent champions from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s, The Rubaiyat is one of the few Hovhaness works that seems deliberately lightweight or "popular" in its aesthetic aims. This is not simply attributable to its use of the accordion as featured solo instrument; the melodic material, while typical of the composer in its modally inflected arabesques, seems particularly obvious, even clichéd at times. Furthermore, the combination of music by a composer known for his lofty spiritual visions with verses that boldly proclaim a hedonistic amorousness makes for a strange fusion of aesthetics--and rather uncharacteristic results.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2013 Delos DE 3440
    2011 Delos DE 3421
    2005 Delos 3352
    1995 Delos 3168