Symphony IV (Hovhaness)

From Wind Repertory Project
Alan Hovhaness

Alan Hovhaness

This work bears the designation Opus 165

General Info

Year: 1958
Duration: c. 21:105
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Edition Peters
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental   |   Study Score - $19.75


1. Andante - 8:20
2. Allegro - 4:55
3. Andante expressivo - 7:30


Full Score
Flutes I-II-III (or 6)
Oboes I-II-III (or 6)
English Horn (or 2)
Bassoons I-II (or 6)
B-flat Soprano Clarinets I-II (or 6)
Bass Clarinet
Horn in F I-II-III-IV (or 6)
B-flat Trumpet I-II (or 6)
Trombone I-II-III-IV (or 6)
Percussion (4 players) including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes 
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Marimba
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Of his Symphony No. 4, Hovhaness writes:

I admire the giant melodies of the Himalayan Mountains, seventh- century Armenian religious music, classical music of South India, orchestra music of Tang Dynasty China around 700 A.D., and opera oratorios of Handel. My Symphony No. 4 has the spiritual influences of the composers Yegmalian, Gomidas Vartabed, and Handel. It is in three movements. The first movement, Andante, is a hymn and fugue. The second movement, Allegro, is a dance-trio-dance form. The third movement, Andante espressivo, is a final hymn and fugue concluding with an Allegro maestoso over bell sounds.

The symphony, composed in 1958 for the American Wind Symphony of Pittsburgh, is the first of Alan Hovhaness’s eight wind symphonies. The instrumentation is that of an expanded symphony orchestra wind section. Extensive solo passages are given to the bass clarinet, contrabassoon, marimba/xylophone, oboe and English horn. Quartets of horns and trombones figure prominently in the opening movement. Solo melodies are modal, while the harmonic character is essentially tonal employing major and minor triads in unusual, but satisfying relationships. Bell sounds which dot the final contrapuntal hymn and fugue are essentially atonal, positioned against triadic harmonies.

- Program Note by Keith Brion


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Eastman Wind Orchestra (Rochester, N.Y.) (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) - 27 March 2023
  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (Jeffrey A. Spenner, conductor) – 24 November 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 5 February 2019
  • Lynn Conservatory of Music (Boca Raton, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Amis, conductor) – 16 January 2011

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Hovhaness, A. (1958). Symphony no. 4 [full score]. CF Peters, New York.