March 2008   New Hovhaness disc premieres Janabar and Shambala concertos

Pioneering contemporary music label OgreOgress has released a DualDisc (CD and DVD) of three Hovhaness works, two presented in their world-premiere recordings.

The first premiere recording is 1950's Janabar (Journey), a concertante-like work for violin, piano, trumpet and strings. Next, the exotic concerto Shambala, for violin, sitar and orchestra, is presented in its first recording, almost 40 years after it was written. It was originally composed for Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar (who performed and recorded as a duo in the 1960s and were both acquaintances of Hovhaness) but never received its premiere. The third work is the three-movement Talin viola concerto (1951), one of Hovhaness' finest small-scale concertos. Although first recorded for a 1952 LP on the MGM label, it appears here in its first digital recording. The disc concludes with the voice of Alan Hovhaness himself talking about his music in interview.

Violinist/violist Christina Fong is the string soloist on all three works, whereas in Shambala it is fitting that one of Shankar's most highly-respected students, Gaurav Mazumdar, undertakes duties on sitar.

The WPRB radio show Classical Discoveries first broadcast the Janabar recording on July 25th, 2007 and the Shambala recording on January 30th 2008 (thus its first-ever public airing).

Side 1 • 96kHz|24bit Audio DVD
1-5: Janabar 'Journey' Op.81 (1950) I. Fantasy [11:54] II. Yerk 'Song' [8:07], III. Toccata [3:22], IV. Sharagan 'Hymn' [8:47], V. Tapor 'Processional' [4:47]
6-8: Talin Op.93 (1951) I. Chant [6:33], II. Estampie [1:51], III. Canzona [7:54]
9: Shambala Op.228 (1969) [45 mins]
10-21: Hovhaness interviewed [28 mins]

Side 2 • Audio CD
1. Janabar 'Journey' Op.81 (1950) I. Fantasy [11:54]
2. Talin Op.93 (1951) II. Estampie [1:51]
3. Shambala Op.228 (1969) [45 mins]

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Listen to Shambala mp3 audio clips:
• Audio clip 1  
• Audio clip 2  
• Audio clip 3  

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Performers are as follows: Rastislav Štúr conducting the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Christina Fong (violin, viola), Gaurav Mazumdar (sitar), Paul Hersey (piano), Michael Bowman (trumpet).

Web links
Christina Fong
Gaurav Mazumdar
Paul Hersey
Michael Bowman
Rastislav Štúr
Slovak Philharmonic

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