🎻♫♪ – Symphony no. 2, “Mysterious Mountain” by Alan Hovhaness

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
82/501Title: Symphony no. 2, “Mysterious Mountain”
Composer: Alan Hovhaness
Nationality: American

Little did I know when listening to this for the first time that it would be the last time I would be doing a classical piece when in the office. Here’s something for a weird time capsule, as I am writing this the week where coronavirus just got a lot more real in the UK. So I’m not sure how that is going to be effect my future postings for a while other than my now cancelled trip to Malta, but it is what it is.

So, Mysterious Mountain – a short 17-minute symphony by a composer I had never heard of that I really enjoyed, even if the beginning made me think a bit of ‘If I Had Words’ from Babe. Nothing wrong with Babe, I mean a talking pig is pretty mysterious, but it was a weird image to start off with.

The image of talking pigs and dancing farmers soon evaporated as the rest of the piece took over. Allegedly this piece was born from dreams that Hovhaness had that he was later trying to recreate in his waking life, somewhat imperfectly to the point where he didn’t like listening to it.

I think it’s a beautiful piece and it sounds like such a mixture that things came before. The name Mysterious Mountain makes you expect something a lot more mystical than what you get, but it’s one of those pieces that would have definitely made for an interesting Fantasia narrative had this piece been but a decade or two older. I don’t know if that sells it, but it’s one of those where you can really let a story take you during the allegro vivo.


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