01/30/08   First-ever public airing for
Hovhaness violin & sitar concerto: Shambala

Almost 40 years after it was written, the Hovhaness concerto Shambala, for violin, sitar and orchestra, originally composed for Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar, received its world-premiere broadcast on January 30th 2008, on the WPRB radio show Classical Discoveries.

Shambala has never been performed at any concert, so this is its first public airing of any kind. The broadcast marks the February 2008 release of the OgreOgress DualDisc comprising three Hovhaness works, each featuring violinist/violist Christina Fong. Both Shambala and Janabar (1950) appear in world-premiere recordings, whilst the concerto Talin was last recorded in its original viola & strings format as far back as 1957.

Composed in 1969 for the Menuhin/Shankar 'East-West fusion' duo (which by then had released two successful West Meets East LPs), the 45-minute, single-movement Shambala was commissioned by Menuhin, but for some reason didn't get its premiere and then fell into complete obscurity - perhaps now making it one of the most eagerly-anticipated Hovhaness discoveries of recent times. Appropriately, one of Shankar's most highly-respected students, Gaurav Mazumdar, undertakes duties on sitar.

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 mp3 audio clips:
• Shambala - clip 1  audio clip
• Shambala - clip 2  audio clip
• Shambala - clip 3  audio clip

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

Classical Discoveries, produced and hosted by Marvin Rosen, celebrated its first decade on air in May 2007 and has championed Hovhaness perhaps more than any other broadcast program. A radio program "devoted to little known repertoire of all musical periods with an emphasis on the old (Baroque and before) and the New Classical Music", the show airs on WPRB out of Princeton, NJ (103.3 fm) and can be listened to online at www.wprb.com.

Web links

Christina Fong
Classical Discoveries
Gaurav Mazumdar

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