Alan Hovhaness - Piano Works
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Cat No: CDS7701
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 1st September 2014
WorksArmenian Folk Songs (12), op.43
Dark River and Distant Bell, op.212
Piano Sonata, op.390 'Cougar Mountain'
ArtistsAlessandra Pompili (piano)
Alessandra Pompili has performed for years as a soloist to critical and public acclaim in Italy, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Iceland and the USA for important societies and as a part of main cultural events. Besides the traditional repertoire, she is an advocate of the music of Sergio Calligaris and Alan Hovhaness, which she often performs as premieres (like the Sonata Cougar Mountain, recorded for Vatican Radio in 2010).
Religious music for piano is another interest: one of her performances of Liszt’s Via Crucis was recorded live by Vatican Radio, sent to the EBU and inserted within the special day for Easter and Holy Week 2013. As such it has been requested and broadcast by about fifteen important radio stations across Europe.
This CD offers a small selection of works by the American composer of Armenian origin, Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000). It is a consciously eclectic choice in terms of chronology and inspiration: a glimpse of the production of a prolific composer who is under-performed in Europe.
It is not easy to define Hovhaness’ position within contemporary music, given his decision to stay away from the European avant-garde and study the Eastern music traditions alongside classical polyphony. The influences that Hovhaness felt were important in his musical pathway are too numerous to enumerate: they go from Händel, Bach, Sibelius to extra-musical aspects such as the philosophical lesson of Francis Bacon, his friendship with Hermon di Giovanno, his religious attitude, his passion for astronomy and his love for nature – the latter three are especially evident in compositions for ensembles or orchestra. As a result, Hovhaness’ style is entirely individual to the point of making him a unique case in the history of contemporary music.
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