Howard's Day Off - December 3 2016 (The Inspirational Power of Mountains)

Dec 4, 2016


:01—Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000): “Sunset,” from Symphony No. 7, Op. 178, “Nanga Parvat,” 1959, Keith Brion, Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra [Naxos 559385]. Inspired by the Himalayan mountains of Kashmir.

:06--Vincent D’Indy (1851-1931): “A Summer Day On the Mountain,” finale, 1905, Pierre Dervaux, Pays de Loire Philharmonic [EMI 64364].

:15—Siegmund von Hausegger (1872-1948): “Nature Symphony,” first move., 1911, Ari Rasilainen, Cologne Radio Symphony [CPO 777 237]. Son of a pro-Wagner music critic, and husband to Wagner’s niece, Hausegger was inspired by Wagner and Mahler but also by mountains, having grown up in Graz, a river town surrounded by them.

:27—Andre Previn: “Hillside,” Milt Bernhart and His Brass Ensemble [JazzCity 2214].


:30—Hector Berlioz (1803-1869): “Harold in Italy,” third move., 1834, John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique [Philips 446 676]. The hero is in the mountains when he hears a local serenading his love. Berlioz grew up near Grenoble in the French Alps and would have gotten his mountain sense from there.

:37—Richard Strauss (1864-1949): “Alpine Symphony,” 1915, David Zinman, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra [Arte Nova 984 950]. Inspired by the death of his friend Mahler – both had homes in the mountains. Six of 22 connected movements. They depict walking up the mountain, entering a forest, wandering by a brook, coming upon a waterfall, and we’ll wind up in a meadow. This was his last tone poem.

:47—Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): “Landscape,” from Symphony No. 7, “Sinfonia Antartica,” third move. of five, 1955, Bryden Thomson, London Symphony [Chandos 8796). The organ represents a wall of ice. Vaughan Williams was inspired by the film “Scott of the Antarctic,” for which he wrote the score, and by the poetry of Walt Whitman, but he never meant for the poetry to be read aloud, as it sometimes it during performances of this music.


:01—Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000): “Mysterious Mountain,” first move., 1955, Dennis Russell Davis, American Composers Orchestra [MusicMasters 60204]. The second of more than 60 symphonies, and the first of many works about mountains.

:06--Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000): Symphony No. 50, “Mount Saint Helens,” Op. 360, middle move., 1983, Gerard Schwarz, Seattle Symphony [Delos 3137].

:14—Vincent D’Indy (1851-1931): “A Summer Day On the Mountain,” first move., 1905,  Pierre Dervaux, Pays de Loire Philharmonic [EMI 64364]. A later and greater work than the more famous Symphony on a French Mountain Air.

:23—Kevin Kaska (1972- ): “Mount Vesuvius,” excerpt, Allan Wilson, Scottish National Orchestra [DR 1009]. He wanted to be a movie soundtrack composer but his works for the concert stage are really erupting.


:30—Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001): “Ao’tearoa,” 1940, James Judd, New Zealand Symphony [Naxos 557697]. The Maori name for New Zealand’s Northern Island is now treated as the Maori name for all of New Zealand, and depending on how you parse it, it means “Land of the Long White Cloud” or “Land of the Long Days.”


:39—Charles Ives (1875-1954): “Wide Valleys and Clouds,” from “Universe Symphony,”  Johnny Reinhard, AFMM Orchestra [Stereo 007]. We can infer mountains from the title “Wide Valleys and Clouds,” and from the fact that this unfinished work was conceived while visiting the Adirondacks.

:41—Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000): “Mysterious Mountain,” finale, 1955, Gerard Schwarz, Seattle Symphony [Delos 3157].

:47—Modest Moussorgsky (1839-1881): “Night on Bald Mountain,” Theodore Kuchar, Ukraine National Symphony [Naxos 555924]. This is the version Rimsky-Korsakov edited.

:58—Pat Metheny: “Sarabhorn,” Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius and Bob Moses [ECM 1073].