Notes and Editorial Reviews
Armenian-American Alan Hovhaness is one of the most prolific composers of the late 20th century. Many of his works evoke the culture of his ancestral homeland and other points to the east of the European classical "center," some reflecting his systematic study of Indian and Japanese classical traditions as well. It might be said of his compositions that he is a mystic who has fixed his gaze on the mountains and continuously describes them. The most striking feature of the Fantasy, an early piano work, or 'Khaldis' for piano and four trumpets, is that the performer hammers the strings in a starkly percussive manner, as if the piano were a kithara or a dulcimer, with little variation in dynamic intensity throughout. This approach is somewhat tempered in the later work 'Mount Katahdin,' which is dominated by a long, slowly unfolding chorale, but the incantatory single-mindedness of the music is the same.