Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hymn to Yerevan

Alan Hovhaness (1911–2000)

Born in Somerville, Mass., Alan Hovhaness graduated from Arlington High School and The New England Conservatory, and taught at The Boston Conservatory. His compositional output spans hundreds of compositions for all ensembles and instruments (Source: JRO).

The ancient city of Yerevan, at the foot of majestic, towering Mount Ararat, is the home of Armenians who found refuge there from many massacres. The music, composed in the ancient fifth mode (“kimtza”) of the Armenian Church, is in Sharagan or Armenian Hymn style. A solemn contrapuntal motet expresses sorrow, strength and spiritual resurrection. A middle section, in free rhythmless chaos of bells and roaring trombones, celebrates a dauntless defiance of tragedy. The solemn contrapuntal hymn returns, heroic and triumphal. (Source: Alan Hovhaness)

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