Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A - Z of Music - H

Oh dear me, with everything that's been going on in my life, I really haven't had the time (or the inclination) to do this.
Oh well, let's hope things improve from now on.
Right, here we go with the letter H. Some of the world's greatest composers have been H's - think Haydn, Handel, Holst, Hovhaness...................

Yes, I said Hovhaness. That's Alan Hovhaness, American, 1911-2000. Although he composed over 500 works, he was very little known until the 90s, when, partly because of the influence of Classic FM, his work suddenly began to achieve recognition.

His is a very descriptive voice, in the same way that Delius and Debussy were descriptive. He obviously had a great love of mountains, and he composed several works describing them (Mysterious Mountain, Mt. Wildcat, Farewell To The Mountains et al) He also had a large output of religious-themed music, and from these, I was torn between the Prayer Of St. Gregory, and 'And God Created Great Whales' which utilises whale song as a background 'chorus'. Both are incredibly beautiful and moving. In the end, it came down to which one I could find a decent clip of.

This then is the incredible Wynton Marsalis, with the Prayer Of St. Gregory

And so onto the lighter bit. I make no apologies for going back in time again, but, when all my friends were swooning over the Beatles, or arguing about whether the Beatles or the Rolling Stones were the best, and which one they fancied, I was quietly sitting in the corner listening to the Hollies.
I loved, and still love, the crystal clear quality of the voice of Allan Clarke, the excellent musicianship of  Graham Nash, and the excellence of the song writing.

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