Winner of the Best Orchestra Surround Mix from 2003 Surround Conference and Music Awards
Now available in discrete multi-channel surround SACD as well as the CD recording!
Alan Hovhaness' final champion, Gerard Schwarz, leads the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on a Telarc recording that brings this great American composer's works to life. Hovhaness was one of the most prolific American composers, with more than four hundred opuses to his credit. Included on this new recording from Telarc are Mysterious Mountain, Hymn to Glacier Peak, Mount St. Helens and Storm on Mount Wildcat.
Hovhaness' musical style was unlike any other 20th century composer. He followed his "instinct and his voice."
After attending Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, on scholarship and drawing harsh criticism from Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, Hovhaness burned more than one thousand pieces of music in his fireplace. In an effort to regain a better sense of creative direction, he returned to his ethnic roots in Armenia. Around this time, his music came to the attention of conductor Leopold Stokowski, who performed his Symphony No. 1, Exile, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and later commissioned and premiered Hovhaness' Symphony No. 2, Mysterious Mountain, Op. 132.
Vilem Sokol and the Seattle Youth Orchestra invited him in 1966 to conduct his music in Seattle, and a year later he became Composer-in-Residence, and made the city his home for the remainder of his life. Gerard Schwarz, then the new young conductor of the Seattle Symphony, conducted (and later recorded) Hovhaness' Symphony No. 50, Mount St. Helens, Op. 360. In 1991, the Seattle Youth Symphony commissioned Hovhaness to write a symphony for their 50th anniversary season. The result was Symphony No. 66, Hymn to Glacier Peak. The second of the symphony's three movements is "Love Song to Hinako," an ode to Hovhaness' wife.
Schwarz and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's new recording on Telarc features not only Hymn to Glacier Peak, Mysterious Mountain and Mount St. Helens, but also a lively performance of Storm on Mount Wildcat, which was originally composed in 1931, when Hovhaness was twenty years old.
American conductor Gerard Schwarz has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 1985, and recently began his new tenure as Music Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He served a long and distinguished tenure as Music Director of New York's Mostly Mozart Festival from 1982 to 2001, and recently completed his successful collaboration as Music Director of the New York Chamber Symphonya post he has held since 1976. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and a return to the Seattle Opera, among others.