Seattle Symphony Orchestra 
Gerard Schwarz, conductor 
Charles Butler, trumpet 
Michael York, narrator 
Diane Schmidt, accordion 
Shanghai Quartet 
Ohio State University Concert Band 
Keith Brion, conductor

“My purpose is to create music not for snobs, but for all people; music which is beautiful and healing – to attempt what old Chinese painters called ‘spirit resonance’ in melody and sound.” —Alan Hovhaness


Heralded by a New York Times article — honoring the centenary year of Hovhaness’ birth – Delos celebrates this wonderfully eclectic “American Mystic’s” glowing niche in the pantheon of American musical history from a new angle: Hovhaness as a composer of what we now call “world music” … though on a more exalted plane than most of that genre’s content. We call Hovhaness a “mystic” largely due to his insatiable curiosity about pan-global musical traditions: primarily exotic-sounding middle- and far-Eastern modes, scales and rhythms that – owing to their “alien” impact upon western ears – tend to convey mystically spiritual impressions. On top of his own Armenian musical roots, he compulsively explored the music of other Arabic regions – as well as the traditions of India, Japan, Korea and Indonesia – absorbing them all into his overall musical consciousness, to be tapped at need to suit his unique creative designs. Accordingly, Delos has combed through its many distinguished previous recordings of Hovhaness’ music to find the individual works that best support such a “world music” classification. And everything fits: Like that of many current world music artists, the music of Hovhaness blends disparate musical influences and impulses in musical “fusions” that are framed by western contexts of sound, form and instrumentation.

  • Prayer of St.Gregory, Op.62b 
  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam, Op.308 
  • 4 Bagatelles, Op.30 Nos.1-4 
  • Symphony No.2, Op.132, Mysterious Mountain 
  • String Quartet No.2, Op.147, Gamelan in Sosi Style 
  • String Quartet No.2, Op.147, Spirit Murmur 
  • The Flowering Peach, Op.125 
  • And God Created Great Whales, Op.229, No.1