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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Musical Interlude For Autumn

(With a hat tip to Pastorius of Infidel Bloggers Alliance)

Enjoy the following contemplative work, especially appropriate during the fall foliage season here in the Northeast:

About the composer, Alan Hovhaness:
Alan Hovhaness (Armenian: Ալան Յովհաննէս) (March 8, 1911 – June 21, 2000) was an Armenian-American composer.

His music is accessible to the lay listener and often evokes a mood of mystery or contemplation. The Boston Globe music critic Richard Buell wrote: "Although he has been stereotyped as a self-consciously Armenian composer (rather as Ernest Bloch is seen as a Jewish composer), his output assimilates the music of many cultures. What may be most American about all of it is the way it turns its materials into a kind of exoticism. The atmosphere is hushed, reverential, mystical, nostalgic."

He was among the most prolific of 20th century composers, his official catalog comprising 67 numbered symphonies (surviving manuscripts indicate over 70) and 434 opus numbers. However, the true tally is well over 500 surviving works since many opus numbers comprise two or more distinct works....
More at the above link.

According to YouTube:
The quartet also bears the subtitle 'Under the Ancient Maple Tree'. Hovhaness remaraked about this quartet: There grew a "Marvelous tree on my uncle's farm in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, where I had many happy times. From under its branches were spectacular views in every direction. Later, lightning struck the tree and destroyed it. This piece is my memorial to that beautiful tree."
When I grew up, my favorite trees were the two weeping willows in our front yard of one-half acre. Dad planted those trees when I was four years old, and because of the low terrain at the bottom of our front yard, the weeping willows thrived and grew to at least forty feet by the time I was in junior high school. Hours upon hours, I sat in or under those branches and read novels. I cried when the property was developed and those weeping willows destroyed.


  1. Thanks for the interlude. That is a nice way to start the day.

  2. Conservatives On Fire,
    I just have to take a break from politics. Otherwise, I'm going to go out of my mind!

    So much is going on right now in my personal and professional life.

  3. I too like weeping willow trees, I planted some where we lived prior to our current place, they grew really fast.

    Nice break from the craziness.

    Right Truth

  4. Lovely, AOW-- it's finally starting to feel like fall down here in FL.

  5. That was nice background music for writing about the dramatic change that's about to occur. (Sorry, you'll just have to look.) :-)

    I'm honored that Mr. AOW used something I wrote to start off his blog with!!! Hope he enjoys the Wonderful World of Blogging.

  6. Hovhaness is spelled and pronounced with a V, by the way xx

    You highlight an Armenian composer and didn't come GET ME? He's wonderful, isn't he.
    Parts of this sound very much like the Armenian church music, and he's famous for having written some of that, too. Very melancholy...

  7. Z,
    I've corrected the spelling error. Thank you for letting me know!

    I should have notified you about this post. And I should have known that you would be an expert on his work.

    Hovhaness was unknown to me until I found this gem over at IBA. Now, I plan to explore more of his work.

  8. I liked the oaks in my grandparents' back yard.

    We could build tree houses in them and they had tires and swings we could play on...

  9. AOW, if I know you, YOU will be the 'expert in his work,' I'm certainly not !!
    And I had to rib you about 'coming to get me'...
    I'm just glad you posted it and was excited to see it as he's not as well known as I think he should be.

  10. I don't know why, but it made me sad. It's a beautiful piece.


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