Podcast: Alan Hovhaness – Symphony No. 63 “Loon Lake”

Alan Hovhaness - Symphony No. 63 album coverAn introduction to three world premiere recordings of pieces by Alan Hovhaness – Fanfare for the New Atlantis, Guitar Concerto No. 2 and his Symphony No. 63.

All these pieces show the lush sounds and soaring melodies that have drawn many people to his music – and baffled other composers in an age when lush melodic writing was not the norm.

Album details…
Catalogue No.: Naxos 8.559336



  • 1st I was lucky enough to hear a bit of Alan Hovhaness' Symphony # 63 on XM
    radio recently. (Thank God for XM and those that invented it).

    2nd I listened to this little lesson about a few pieces of his and was amazed and
    satisfied to learn a little about his life. I hope to hear the entire piece (sym
    #63) on line.

    the bit of music I did hear remnded me of A variation on a theme by Thomas Tallas, by Rahpe vaughn Williams; an English composer. The music is polyphonic and abstract; it just flows. It is beauty. Listen to it.

    O was happy to learn about Mr. Hovhaness, as I know little bouat modern American composers…Danny Elfman, John Williams, Phillip Glass, Vangelis, and Hans Zimmer. Ok, maybe a few of these guys are not American, but they are modern and greatl; in my opinion. Take some time to listeb to wonderful Classical, Opera, and Jazz. You will be amazed.

    Chuck Mazzarella http://www.lulu.com/chuckmazzarella

    • Hi Chuck, Thanks for your email, glad you enjoyed this podcast. I was looking at your list of composers, and thought of a couple of other American composers that you might enjoy: William Schuman (his symphonies are terrific), and Virgil Thomson. Also, since you like Danny Elfman, John WIlliams and Hans Zimmer, try out some of the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Korngold wrote some great concert music, and was one of the big name movie composers in the 1940's and 1950s.

  • RM McRae says:

    What absolutely beautiful music; and an amazing podcast to go with it. I have recently began researching Hovhaness and his music, and am incredibly interested in hearing more. I am having a very difficult time finding his recorded work, and an even more difficult time finding live performances. Do you have any information at all that could help me? My search is in its infancy, and it sounds as though you could help enormously.

    The very best,

    RM McRae


  • Angela says:

    Raymond, I have been listening to your podcast for years and am glad that you have a blog that we can comment on. I was especially glad to be introduced to these pieces by Hovhaness and will definitely be buying this album. I have a blog as well and over the years have mentioned your podcast a few times. Here is a post you may enjoy:

    • Hi Anglea, Thanks for your email, and for taking the time to listen to the podcasts over the years. I particularly enjoyed this music by Hovhaness. In a rushed world, his music is like a tonic. You might take a look at my answer to the comment from RM McRae about this Hovhaness podcast. He asks about other recordings of Hovhaness, and where to find them.

  • Carl says:

    I am a big fan of your podcast. You have a very good balance between the amount of commentary and music…you always make it tempting. I succumbed to the temptation with Hovhaness and am very pleased. I downloaded the music and you mentioned the special liner notes by his wife. Is there a way to see those liner notes without purchasing the CD (other than searching a traditional library)?

    For your information I found the last Georgian music podcast exceptional and have purchased at least Rautavaara (Cantus articas), Reich, Rzewski:The People… and have a long wish list from your podcast.

    You still have time to do a podcast on something Messiaen during his centenary celebration….thanks so much for the work you do for contemporary and living artists.

  • Carl says:

    Oh, I just found the liner notes on the site under “About this Recording”…well, I wanted to write you anyway.

  • The Loon lake is really one of the most relaxing symphony I had heard, well we often used it when we are camping it is really relaxing.