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Thursday, April 19, 2018
Alan Hovhaness, Suite for Band, October Mountain, The Ruins of Ani, Central Washington Wind Ensemble
So we have a new one, a recording of wind chamber ensemble works that include his Suite for Band, October Mountain and The Ruins of Ani (Naxos 8.559837). Four of the ten works on the album are World Premiere Recordings, and that in itself marks the release as worth noting. The music gets capable and careful treatment in the hands (and lips and teeth) of the Central Washington University Wind Ensemble and selected soloists. The music ranges in time (1948-1985) and instrumentation (from full wind band to solo flute and much in between).
Many Hovhannes acolytes will recognize the classic "Suite for Band" (1948) from earlier recordings. This version rivals versions I have studied. The previously unheard works are worthwhile, the other works done nicely.
In all this is a nice one to have if you are a Hovhaness admirer. It may not be my first choice for a new listener. Yet at the Naxos price you cannot go wrong. Recommended.