28 August 2015

Interesting Timing Dept.

Today, for First-Listen Fridays!, my listening included two pieces by Hovhaness: Requiem and Resurrection, Op.224, for brass choir & percussion (1968) and Symphony № 19, « Vishnu » Op.217 (1966).

From the composer’s notes to the CD:
The idea for Requiem and Resurrection arose in 1967 after the first terribly cut performance of Symphony No. 19 “Vishnu.” I was deeply disappointed because I felt it was one of my best works. . . .
The first performance [of “Vishnu”] was conducted by Andre Kostelanitz with the New York Philharmonic in 1967.
Connecting the dots, then . . . Vishnu had been commissioned by the NY Phil and Kostelanitz, so perhaps the assumption of editorial rights was a function of feeling that they “owned” the composer on this occasion.

Personally, I find this story encouraging, both because there has been an occasion or two when my work was cut, in spite of my conviction of the value of the lost material; partly because yesterday (per my earlier post) was a story of discovering new music from the ashes of a disappointment.

In all events, both pieces are top-tier Hovhaness, the Requiem and Resurrection in particular.

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