Hovhaness: Mysterious Mountain; Andante con Moto; Double Fugue; Andante Espressivo; Prayer of St. Gregory; Prelude and Quadruple Fugue; And God Created Great Whales; Alleluia and Fugue; Celestial Fantasy – Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz
Mysterious Mountain is probably Hovhaness’s most famous symphonic work; And God Created Great Whales features some of the most majestic soloists ever recorded: humpback whales. It is clear that the music of Alan Hovhaness is finally finding a wider audience. This American mystic has long been a part of the international fabric, but has been waiting many decades for the extended recognition which is now coming to him. Certainly, the symphonic sound stage that the recording engineer, John Eargle, has established allows Hovhaness’s music to be heard in a dimension never before available. Hovhaness was present at the recording sessions and his emotion at hearing his music realised by Schwarz, the Seattle Symphony, and the Delos team was evident to all.
‘If Górecki, why not Hovhaness, one begins to ask, and there is something of the same flavour in this obviously dedicated music… the obvious dedication behind the performance, a quality which marks the playing of the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz in all the works here. The recording too is full and atmospheric. Who knows, lightning might strike again, just as it did with Górecki’s Third Symphony.’