ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000): Cougar Mountain Sonata, Op. 390, Shalimar, Op. 177, Fantasy, Op. 17, 12 Armenian Folk Songs, Op. 43, Ghazal, Op. 36a, Ghazal-Sufi, Op. 36b, Dark River and Distant Bell, Op. 212.
Catalogue Number: 12Q047
Reference: CDS 7701
Description: It's a pity this 53-minute disc couldn't have been at least 20 minutes longer but there's very little of Hovhaness' piano music on disc and it does sample much of his career, from the Armenian Folk Songs (simple and direct transcriptions of unfamiliar melodies published in 1963 but dating from 20 years earler) to the 1985 Cougar Mountain Sonata. The former and Shalimar (written in Kashmir in 1959) deal with just two of Hovhaness' favorite "Oriental" musics, Armenian and Indian, while the remaining works make use of various building-blocks of world music to produce calm, often quiet, and meditative pieces (the first movement of the Sonata has a Satiesque slender and elegant classicism added to its gentle exoticism). Alessandra Pompili (piano).