Symphony XIV (Hovhaness)

From Wind Repertory Project
Alan Hovhaness

Alan Hovhaness

Subtitle: Ararat

This work bears the designation Opus 194.

General Info

Year: 1960
Duration: c. 14:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. F. Peters
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $8.00 (pocket score)


1. - 7:00
2. - 4:05
3. Maestoso - 3:00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III-IV-V (2 parts double Piccolo)
Bassoon I-II-III
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV-V-VI
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV-V-VI
Horn in F I-II-III-IV-V-VI
Trombone I-II-III-IV-V-VI
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes, single (6)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Wild fierceness of volcanic earthquake and avalanche-shaken mountains, rough stones, caves, rocks sculptured by tornadoes inspired this symphony of rough-hewn sounds.

1st Movement: An introduction of somber dragon-fly sounds in low clarinets, horns, trombones and roaring drums leads to a morose three-tone and, later, four-tone melody in low clarinets under flute cluster. Bassoons sing a clashing modal melody against the clarinets. A giant melody emerges, sung antiphonally between two groups of trumpets, followed by horns and trombones against dissonant clusters. Intensity increases in power and dissonance. (In ancient (Japanese) music, sounds of brief duration touched and released against longer sustained sounds were called 'dragon flies', as the dragon fly skims on the surface of the water.)

2nd movement: Clashing bells in 5/8, 7/8, 11/8, 13/8, 17/8, and drums in 19/8 ring in clangor. Dark trombones, clarinets, bassoons and horns sound ominous dragon-fly formations. Bells, lightning and thunder sound in piccolos, flutes and threatening trombones. Dark rumblings grow into a cataclysm of sounds.

3rd movement: Crashing drum meters 19/8, 17/8, 13/8, 7/4, 13/4, 23/8 clash continuously. Six trumpets sound a unison cry of mighty peaks bursting into sound clusters and then resolving into single tones. The trumpets rise above the roaring sea of superimposed drum rhythms. The poet Ishagain, writes of the peak of Mt. Ararat: "Infinite lightnings have touched the sword of the diamond."

- Program note from Chronology of the 'Early' Symphonies

Commercial Discography


Audio (Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra (Keith Brion, conductor):

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer