Mountains and Rivers Without End
Subtitle: Chamber Symphony for 10 players. This work bears the designation Opus 225.
Duration: c. 25:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. F. Peters
Cost: Score and Parts - $130.00 | Score Only - $15.50
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
Percussion I-II-III, including:
None discovered thus far.
The music was inspired by a long Korean landscape scroll-painting. The picture is a like a mountain journey beginning in mist, passing by rivers, mountains, villages, and temples, finally to disappear again into mist and nothingness. Free-rhythm sounds -- birdlike, mist of bell-sounds, bucolic animal sounds -- all these clouds of sounds hover between four powerful reverberations of a seven-beat mantra over drums and bells.
Mountains and Rivers Without End was partly based on one of my oriental operas, The Leper King. I was not satisfied with the first performance of this opera because of lack of rehearsals, so I used the seven-four chorus theme in this chamber symphony when I conducted a concert of my own music in Munich.
- Program Note by composer
Mountains and Rivers Without End is one of the works from the late 1960s in which Alan Hovhaness explored techniques and effects derived from Korean music. Hovhaness noted that this "chamber symphony" was inspired by a long Korean landscape scroll-painting. A seven-beat, mantra-like melody (also used extensively in the composer's 1967 opera The Leper King) serves as a sort of ritornello or refrain. Other Korean-inspired devices include dissonant woodwind canons at the unison and glissando effects in the trombone. Mountains and Rivers, as well as other works from this period of Hovhaness' career, represent a point of extremism in the composer's music with regard to the repetition of ideas, sparseness of texture, unresolved dissonance, and absence of triadic harmony.
- Program note by Walter Simmons
- Audio: Manhattan Chamber Orchestra (Richard Auldon Clark, conductor)
- Audio CD: Manhattan Chamber Orchestra (Richard Auldon Clark, conductor)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints, Op. 211
- Glory to God, Op. 124
- Hymn to Yerevan, Op. 83
- King Vahaken: Is There Survival?, Op. 59
- Mountains and Rivers Without End, Op. 225
- Prayer of St. Gregory (1946/1952/1972/2012)
- Requiem and Resurrection, Op. 224 (1969)
- Return and Rebuild the Desolate Places
- Sharagan and Fugue (arr. Huelsmann) (1950/2008)
- Suite for Band, Op. 15 (1948)
- Symphony No. 4, Op. 165 (1958)
- Symphony No. 7, "Nanga Parvat," Op. 178 (1959)
- Symphony No. 14, "Ararat," Op. 194 (1961)
- Symphony No. 17, Symphony for "Metal Orchestra," Op. 203 (1963)
- Symphony No. 20, "Three Journeys to a Holy Mountain," Op. 223 (1969)
- Symphony No. 23 (1972)
- Symphony No. 29 (1977)
- Symphony No. 53, "Star Dawn" (1983)
- Tapor No. 1 (1968)
- Tower Music Op. 129
- Alan Hovhaness website Accessed 5 July 2022
- Simmons, Walter. "Mountains and Rivers without End, chamber symphony for 10 players, Op. 225 ." AllMusic. Accessed 5 July 2022