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ALLA BREVE

June 22, 1986|EMMON SCOTT

ALAN HOVHANESS: SYMPHONY NO. 11. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Alan Hovhaness, conductor. ARMENIAN RHAPSODY NO. 1; "PRAYER OF ST. GREGORY"; "TZAIKERK." Crystal Chamber Orchestra, Ernest Gold, conductor. Crystal Records CD 801. Though rarely in danger of becoming deeply moving, this is pleasant music that bows to Byzantium. The beat is often the driving step of Armenian dance. Melodies are cast in a harmonic minor scale which carries one's ears toward the Persia of "Scheherazade." Yet, due to harmonies that appear to lack resolution and purpose, the music dances in a circle: reeling, kicking, shouting, laughing, but not going any place in particular.

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