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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: vandermolen on April 10, 2008, 11:47:06 AM

Title: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on April 10, 2008, 11:47:06 AM
I like many American composers: Copland, Bernstein, Harris, Barber, Diamond, Schuman, Creston, Ives, Piston etc but I have a special soft spot for the music of Howard Hanson, which has an endearing warmth about it. It is certainly "old fashioned" but to me this is part of its appeal.

I have recently discovered his "Bold Island Suite" (on Telarc), which cheers me up whenever I listen to it. I have the Mercury Symphony set and the complete symphonies on Delos (a great box set with lots of other orchestral music, including the fine Piano Concerto and epic Lament for Beowulf as well as the very moving Elegy in memory of Serge Koussevitsky).  Koussevitsky's performance of Hanson's Third Symphony (Dutton is the best transfer) brings to it an epic sibelian quality, unlike any other performance (including Hanson's own on Mercury). I think that it is the greatest disc of Hanson's music.  There is a servicable super-budget Arte Nova CD (symphony 2 and 4) and I wonder why Mercury never released their recording of Symphony 4 (one of the best), on CD.

Any other thoughts on this composer?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: gomro on April 10, 2008, 12:30:16 PM
Any other thoughts on this composer?

All I can do is agree with you and magnify the superlatives; Hanson is one of the composers I will not do without.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 10, 2008, 03:38:00 PM
Heartily concur! Hanson's music is warm-hearted, delightfully Nordic and splendidly bracing.

One of my valued old LPs is of the Symphony No.2 "Romantic" played by the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhardt on RCA Gold Seal coupled with Griffes' 'The White Peacock' and 'The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan'. The Delos set of the symphonies and other orchestral works is well worth having with Schwarz an excellent interpreter. It is a pity that he did not go onto to complete a set of the Piston symphonies or those by David Diamond, let alone those by Paul Creston(a similarly romantic American composer to Hanson).

Pity too that he was-for whatever reason-not able to replicate his obvious success in Seattle during his term with the Liverpool orchestra!
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: The new erato on April 10, 2008, 08:36:22 PM
The demise of Delos American recordings was very sad indeed, event though Naxos have done good work I miss those Delos releases from the early 90ies.

I have the LP you mention BTW, and very fine it is.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Hector on April 11, 2008, 03:37:51 AM
I recently and finally got round to buying Hanson's Mercury disc of his first two symphonies having had a liking for the "Romantic" for some time.

Sadly, I think the recording shows its age - 1957, I think.

I've, also, bought Alan Hovhaness conducting his own 22nd Symphony in Seattle. A very satisfying piece of music that touches the nerve of this listener (he could, also, write a tune, ssshh).
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on April 11, 2008, 05:07:08 AM
I also have the famous old RCA LP (my introduction to the Hanson). It's in the attic somewhere and I was never sure if the photo on the cover was of Hanson or Gerhardt smoking a cigarette! (to complicate things forther I cave a CD of Hilding Rosenberg symphonies which, for some bizarre reason, contains a photo of Howard Hanson although he was not the conductor). The Gerhardt disc is another one languishing in the RCA vaults and never made it to CD (like Downes's Bax Symphony 3 or Morton Gould's Miaskovsky Symphony 21)

I also regret the demise of Delos, a great label but I see that the Diamond and Piston symphonies recorded by Delos have appeared on Naxos.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: The new erato on April 11, 2008, 06:04:59 AM


I also regret the demise of Delos, a great label but I see that the Diamond and Piston symphonies recorded by Delos have appeared on Naxos.
But I think they should record the missing parts of Pistons cycle.

And DG should reissue Tilson-Thomas record of Piston/Schuman (I know it's partly available on Arkiv, it doesn't quite count for me, and I think the Piston is missing in the new coupling)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on April 11, 2008, 02:37:46 PM
But I think they should record the missing parts of Pistons cycle.

And DG should reissue Tilson-Thomas record of Piston/Schuman (I know it's partly available on Arkiv, it doesn't quite count for me, and I think the Piston is missing in the new coupling)

DGG did issue the Piston/Schuman CD a long time back as I have a copy. It was in their series "20th Century Classics". The Symphony that has never been issued on CD by DGG is Allan Petterson's 8th Symphony, Baltimore SO, Commissiona.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 11, 2008, 02:54:02 PM
It is quite extraordinary that for Walter Piston's 1st, 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies we have no other current choice but the worthy but somewhat undistinguished efforts of the Louisville Orchestra. The 1st, 7th and 8th are conducted by Jorge Mester and were recorded between 1974-78 but the 5th goes back to the days of Robert Whitney. These CDs were released originally by Albany records-a company which appeared, for a time, to be intending to fill many gaps in the American symphonic catalogue. They brought out modern recordings of Piston's 3rd and Creston's 4th. Albany seem these days, however, to concentrate either or the pretty feeble symphonies of Don Gillis or on composers who are-in many cases-completely unknown(at least to me!)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on April 11, 2008, 03:14:09 PM
It is quite extraordinary that for Walter Piston's 1st, 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies we have no other current choice but the worthy but somewhat undistinguished efforts of the Louisville Orchestra. The 1st, 7th and 8th are conducted by Jorge Mester and were recorded between 1974-78 but the 5th goes back to the days of Robert Whitney. These CDs were released originally by Albany records-a company which appeared, for a time, to be intending to fill many gaps in the American symphonic catalogue. They brought out modern recordings of Piston's 3rd and Creston's 4th. Albany seem these days, however, to concentrate either or the pretty feeble symphonies of Don Gillis or on composers who are-in many cases-completely unknown(at least to me!)

I bought a Gillis Symphony on Dutton recently...a big mistake  :(
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 11, 2008, 03:19:17 PM
I bought a Gillis Symphony on Dutton recently...a big mistake  :(

Up late, Jeffrey? Yes, as a mad completist I have bought ALL of the Gillis symphonies on Albany. They are pleasant but sublimely mediocre. Why a reputable company deems it necessary to record his entire orchestral output beggars belief!! :)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 11, 2008, 03:23:37 PM
Apologies to any Don Gillis fans! I should, of course, have added 'in my opinion' to the 'mediocre' estimation!

(who am I to know anyway? I think the English composer York Bowen was mediocre too but record companies seem to love him these days!)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: gomro on April 11, 2008, 05:12:48 PM
Apologies to any Don Gillis fans! I should, of course, have added 'in my opinion' to the 'mediocre' estimation!

(who am I to know anyway? I think the English composer York Bowen was mediocre too but record companies seem to love him these days!)

I like Gillis just fine, when I'm in the mood; he's what Aaron Copland would be if Aaron Copland was Raymond Scott. What I don't like is the repetition of works on those Albany discs; I've got two Symphony 5 and 1/2s, two Encore Concertos, etc. WHY? A trap for the Gillis collector!

BTW: Eric Ewazen would probably appeal a lot more to Hansonites than Gillis would, and there's plenty of Ewazen on Albany. Just be ready to get multiple versions of his Ballade, which has apparently been arranged for every musical combination under the sun. Don't have the rubber-band-and-ski-pole version yet, but I suspect - I dread! - that it's out there.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: The new erato on April 11, 2008, 08:51:31 PM
DGG did issue the Piston/Schuman CD a long time back as I have a copy.
That was why I said reissue.....
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: The new erato on April 11, 2008, 08:52:49 PM
Symphony that has never been issued on CD by DGG is Allan Petterson's 8th Symphony, Baltimore SO, Commissiona.
And obviously yes. i've praised its LP counterpart in the Petterson thread and lamented its nonavailability.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2008, 12:11:18 AM
That was why I said reissue.....

OK, sorry, I thought you meant the LP.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2008, 12:12:45 AM
Up late, Jeffrey? Yes, as a mad completist I have bought ALL of the Gillis symphonies on Albany. They are pleasant but sublimely mediocre. Why a reputable company deems it necessary to record his entire orchestral output beggars belief!! :)

I only bought the Dutton CD and no more. I wont be adding any more York Bowen to my collection either.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2008, 12:55:23 AM
Am listening to Schwarz's Delos CD of Symphony No 4 (in memory of his father) and Lament for Beowulf...a great disc.  The Requiescat from the Symphony must be one of the most moving things written by Hanson. I wonder why the Mercury version of this symphony never made it to CD.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 12, 2008, 06:05:18 PM
I only bought the Dutton CD and no more. I wont be adding any more York Bowen to my collection either.

 :) :)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Martin Lind on May 01, 2009, 02:20:32 AM
I know Schwarz Hanson is praised by many: The Penguins Guide, Grammophone and others. But I don't like it. For example the 2nd symphony with Montgomery on Arte Nova is much better than Schwarz. Schwarz has spectacular sound and faboulus playing. But is this important? With Montgomery the 2nd is a genuine symphony, everything makes sense, it is full of this special romantic charme. There may be even better recordings which I don't know and the Jena Philharmonics are not a top orchestra, but always when I want to hear Hanson, it's always Arte Nova. Schwarz in my view is not able to let the symphony flow. You sometimes realize: This is a transition episode, but Schwarz seems to spell it correctly, the momentum is completely lost, the symphony fells completely apart, as Schwarz never develops any kind of thrust. So I never listen to Schwarz, but to Montgomery, or for the first symphony to Schermerhorn ( Naxos). There is also another recording of the 6th (Landau, Vox Box) I posses but I haven't heard that very often. Other proposals for Hanson?

It is anyway astonishing that Schwarz is praised so loudly by so many, but I know that there are people who share my view. Of course I have not listened to the Schwarz very much, I listened yesterday to the 2nd again ( after Montgomery) but this reconfirmed my view.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: jowcol on May 01, 2009, 05:58:36 AM
Of all the American Composers Jeffrey listed at the first post on this thread, I'd have no trouble placing Hanson as my favorite as well. 

Of course, the Second Symphony is the place to start if you are new to Hanson.  As a rule, I'm not that big into Choral works, but the Lament for Beowulf is a masterpiece!

Of the other symphonies, the 4th (Requiem) has to be my fave.  I've been know to listen to it on repeat for hours.  Nice and dark, lots of melancholy, but not sappy.  The third is great, but it's more traditional in form. There is a great moment in the 7th where he echoes THE riff from the 2nd.  But the 4th is the one I'd take to a desert Island.

Among other goodies-- you should look for Mosaics (a later austere work that pushes the envelope a bit) and Pan and the Priest is also fantastic. 

I'm not the biggest fan of concerti-- sometimes it seems like writing for the soloist seems to overshadow the music.  But Hanson's Piano concerto is one that I'm drawn to time and time again-- it's just a great work of music.

I forget who told this story, but someone who had a radio show started playing  the Second Symphony by the "Late Howard Hanson".   The phone rang at the radio station, and it turned out to the the "Late" Howard Hanson himself, explaining good naturedly to the radio show host  that he wasn't exactly dead.

Although he labeled himself a romantic, I see him as a composer who, although he could draw from a wealth of 20th Century technique, kept in mind at all times that his first duty was to tell a story. 






Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: jowcol on May 01, 2009, 06:28:40 AM
Oops!  I left out the Organ  Concerto by Hanson that is also a real gem.  It is worth the price of admission on the Naxos disc that came out recently( more or less).

Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on May 01, 2009, 08:05:19 AM
Oops!  I left out the Organ  Concerto by Hanson that is also a real gem.  It is worth the price of admission on the Naxos disc that came out recently( more or less).



Nice to see this thread revived.

Do you know the Bold Island Suite which is really good ?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: The new erato on May 01, 2009, 09:10:12 AM
Am listening to Schwarz's Delos CD of Symphony No 4 (in memory of his father) and Lament for Beowulf...a great disc. 
I remember being very impressed with this once upon a time.....so I am playing it now. Thank you for reminding me. Glorious tunes. All those fans of Atterberg really ought to immerse themselves in Hanson as well.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Dundonnell on May 01, 2009, 03:19:28 PM
I agree with Martin Lind that Gerard Schwarz is not necessarily the greatest conductor in the world and that his performances can err on the side of 'ordinary' at times. In his Schuman cycle for Delos he does not always manage to capture the savage barbarity of some of the music. However...and it is a big 'however'..I would never fault his enterprise in being prepared to conduct the music of composers like Schuman, Piston, Diamond and Hanson. It is unlikely that we shall get another complete set of the Hanson symphonies from anyone and they have given me much pleasure over the years :) Rich, romantic, tuneful...throughly enjoyable music :)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on May 02, 2009, 09:41:58 PM
I agree with Martin Lind that Gerard Schwarz is not necessarily the greatest conductor in the world and that his performances can err on the side of 'ordinary' at times. In his Schuman cycle for Delos he does not always manage to capture the savage barbarity of some of the music. However...and it is a big 'however'..I would never fault his enterprise in being prepared to conduct the music of composers like Schuman, Piston, Diamond and Hanson. It is unlikely that we shall get another complete set of the Hanson symphonies from anyone and they have given me much pleasure over the years :) Rich, romantic, tuneful...throughly enjoyable music :)

Yes, I too have much enjoyed Hanson's symphonies - all of them, but especially nos 1-4. I like Hanson's own recordings of 1-3 on Mercury but regret that the old Mercury version of Symphony No 4 on LP (which may not have been conducted by Hanson - can anyone enlighten me on this?) never seems to have made it to CD.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on June 03, 2009, 12:12:01 PM
I have been listening tonight to the old Mercury recording of Hanson conducting the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra in his own Third Symphony (my favourite), the very moving 'Elegy In Memory of My Friend Serge Koussevitsky' and the 'Lament for Beowolf' What a great CD! All three works are wonderful (IMHO).
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on October 31, 2009, 02:55:49 PM
Just another plug for this great disc which I've been enjoying once again.  Not only is it a fine tribute to the late Erich Kunzel, who conducts a first-rate performance of Hanson's 'Romantic Symphony' (No.2) but it also contains the only recording of the 'Bold Island Suite', which is also Hanson at his best - a great work.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: schweitzeralan on October 31, 2009, 05:42:13 PM
I like many American composers: Copland, Bernstein, Harris, Barber, Diamond, Schuman, Creston, Ives, Piston etc but I have a special soft spot for the music of Howard Hanson, which has an endearing warmth about it. It is certainly "old fashioned" but to me this is part of its appeal.

I have recently discovered his "Bold Island Suite" (on Telarc), which cheers me up whenever I listen to it. I have the Mercury Symphony set and the complete symphonies on Delos (a great box set with lots of other orchestral music, including the fine Piano Concerto and epic Lament for Beowulf as well as the very moving Elegy in memory of Serge Koussevitsky).  Koussevitsky's performance of Hanson's Third Symphony (Dutton is the best transfer) brings to it an epic sibelian quality, unlike any other performance (including Hanson's own on Mercury). I think that it is the greatest disc of Hanson's music.  There is a servicable super-budget Arte Nova CD (symphony 2 and 4) and I wonder why Mercury never released their recording of Symphony 4 (one of the best), on CD.

Any other thoughts on this composer?

Never heard the "Bold Island Suite." I'll have to check it out. I always thought that Hanson always received the "raw deal" from many critics due to his conservatively oriented works.  Hanson always was and will remain one of my very favorite composers.  I heard is 2nd Symphony for the first time when I was about 2 or 3 years old. I'll always recall that I actually met him at Chautauqua some six months before he died. He was attending a concert and was accompanied by several friends.  I recognized him and introduced myself and told him him how much I loved his symphonies and other orchestral works.  He then smiled and asked who I was, and I told him I was one of his devoted fans.  We shook hands, he then thanked me and went on his way.   I've known one or two people who were affiliated with the university where I had taught.  They were no longer involved in the music profession, but both had studied at one time with Hanson years ago. Both had told me Hanson was always a gentleman and was very gracious.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 01, 2009, 05:32:39 AM
Never heard the "Bold Island Suite." I'll have to check it out. I always thought that Hanson always received the "raw deal" from many critics due to his conservatively oriented works.  Hanson always was and will remain one of my very favorite composers.  I heard is 2nd Symphony for the first time when I was about 2 or 3 years old. I'll always recall that I actually met him at Chautauqua some six months before he died. He was attending a concert and was accompanied by several friends.  I recognized him and introduced myself and told him him how much I loved his symphonies and other orchestral works.  He then smiled and asked who I was, and I told him I was one of his devoted fans.  We shook hands, he then thanked me and went on his way.   I've known one or two people who were affiliated with the university where I had taught.  They were no longer involved in the music profession, but both had studied at one time with Hanson years ago. Both had told me Hanson was always a gentleman and was very gracious.

What a lovely story about you meeting Hanson - how nice. Thank you for sharing that. It does not surprise me to hear that he was a gentleman. The only similar experience I had was when, as a child, I met the horror film (Lord of the Rings) actor Christopher Lee, who was very kind to me.

You must listen to 'Bold Island' which is classic Howard Hanson and typically life-affirming.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: schweitzeralan on November 01, 2009, 08:50:18 AM
What a lovely story about you meeting Hanson - how nice. Thank you for sharing that. It does not surprise me to hear that he was a gentleman. The only similar experience I had was when, as a child, I met the horror film (Lord of the Rings) actor Christopher Lee, who was very kind to me.

You must listen to 'Bold Island' which is classic Howard Hanson and typically life-affirming.

Yes.  Thanks for posting that info.  I hope to listen to it soon.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 01, 2009, 11:35:55 AM
Yes.  Thanks for posting that info.  I hope to listen to it soon.

Let us know what you think in due course - I am listening to that CD now  :)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: drogulus on November 01, 2009, 01:02:54 PM


    As fine as his 2nd Symphony is I think his best are the 3rd and 4th. And I'd strongly recommend the Sinfonia Sacra (No. 5). I wouldn't say Hanson is my favorite American composer (Schuman, Diamond, and Herrman contend for that), though sometimes when I'm listening I wonder if in fact he is.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 01, 2009, 01:17:02 PM
In his Schuman cycle for Delos he does not always manage to capture the savage barbarity of some of the music....

I too am grateful for Schwarz's cycle but can't help wishing Bernstein would have recorded Hanson too. His American recorded repertoire is peerless, and priceless. I imagine he would have done Hanson justice. Now, someone please tell me there are Lenny Hanson recordings and I've simply missed them!

Sarge
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 01, 2009, 02:20:56 PM

    As fine as his 2nd Symphony is I think his best are the 3rd and 4th. And I'd strongly recommend the Sinfonia Sacra (No. 5). I wouldn't say Hanson is my favorite American composer (Schuman, Diamond, and Herrman contend for that), though sometimes when I'm listening I wonder if in fact he is.

I agree about symphonies 3 and 4 being the best (the Koussevitsky recording of No 3 is in a class of its own). I also love the very moving Elegy for Koussevitsky. Has the old Mercury recording of Symphony No 4 ever made it to CD?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: drogulus on November 03, 2009, 04:54:56 PM
I agree about symphonies 3 and 4 being the best (the Koussevitsky recording of No 3 is in a class of its own). I also love the very moving Elegy for Koussevitsky. Has the old Mercury recording of Symphony No 4 ever made it to CD?

    I don't think so. Strange as it may seem I've never heard any of the Mercury Hanson.

   

     
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 04, 2009, 10:42:27 AM
    I don't think so. Strange as it may seem I've never heard any of the Mercury Hanson.      

Here they all are (other than Symphony 4  >:() in a great boxed set.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 04, 2009, 02:19:01 PM
In the Griffes thread I have mentioned the wonderful performance of Howard Hanson's Romantic Symphony on the Chesky label, conducted by Charles Gerhardt. This was recorded in 1967 and I first came across it on an RCA LP coupled with a magnificent performance of Griffes's The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan. Having the CD is like being reunited with an old friend - the digital transfer is wonderfully warm and has great depth.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: The new erato on November 04, 2009, 10:59:23 PM
In the Griffes thread I have mentioned the wonderful performance of Howard Hanson's Romantic Symphony on the Chesky label, conducted by Charles Gerhardt. This was recorded in 1967 and I first came across it on an RCA LP coupled with a magnificent performance of Griffes's The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan. Having the CD is like being reunited with an old friend - the digital transfer is wonderfully warm and has great depth.
That RCA LP is in my collection as well - and treasured it is!
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 05, 2009, 12:00:34 AM
I also bought that RCA LP years and years ago, and literally wore it out through repeated playing.  I hadn't realised it had been transferred to CD, so thank you for posting this.

My pleasure,

Not only that, but the extra stuff on the CD - extracts from Copland's Billy the Kid and Rodeo + a charming Morton Gould piece are also brilliantly done.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 05, 2009, 06:43:33 AM
And here's that famous old LP - a nostalgia trip:
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: drogulus on November 05, 2009, 11:32:05 PM
Here they all are (other than Symphony 4  >:() in a great boxed set.
 
(http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=7104.0;attach=21810;image)

     Yes! I always meant to get this. I'd love to hear his Mosaics especially, my favorite Hanson piece.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 05, 2009, 11:55:53 PM
     Yes! I always meant to get this. I'd love to hear his Mosaics especially, my favorite Hanson piece.

Yes, Mosaics is good, as is the Piano Concerto - great set.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: jowcol on November 06, 2009, 10:26:56 AM
Sure I' ve already said this, but the Hanson Piano Concerto is one of my favorite works of Hanson, as well as one of my favorite Piano Concerti!
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 06, 2009, 01:25:08 PM
Sure I' ve already said this, but the Hanson Piano Concerto is one of my favorite works of Hanson, as well as one of my favorite Piano Concerti!

Yes, I find it to be a very endearing and moving work. The Elegy for Koussevitsy is perhaps my favourite work by Hanson, along with Symphony 3 (especially with Koussevitsky conducting).
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on November 10, 2009, 07:41:45 AM
I love Hanson. I still think he is under-represented in the recording media and in the concert hall. Other than Schwarz there is still no complete set of symphonies out there. You  compare Hanson to Copland for example, Copland recordings are loaded in the catalogue. It is so sad that for someone like Hanson who has championed American music for his entire life he has no real modern champion.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: schweitzeralan on November 14, 2009, 10:07:02 AM
I love Hanson. I still think he is under-represented in the recording media and in the concert hall. Other than Schwarz there is still no complete set of symphonies out there. You  compare Hanson to Copland for example, Copland recordings are loaded in the catalogue. It is so sad that for someone like Hanson who has championed American music for his entire life he has no real modern champion.

I've read articles in the past by critics who have given Hanson low grades; I think it was due to the fact that H. never fell into the Modernist/Neoclassical style which dominated the field for decades. Other composers like Creston, for example, would often receive lukewarm praise.  All this is behind us now. Gratefully Hanson's works have been recorded, thanks to his symphony orchestra.  He has created great, sincere, serious works in his symphonies and tone poems.  I'm not too familiar with his piano works. I also recall that, in the old days, Hanson's music was used as background sources for many live TV dramas. I learned much about his works at that time.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 14, 2009, 03:28:29 PM
I love Hanson. I still think he is under-represented in the recording media and in the concert hall. Other than Schwarz there is still no complete set of symphonies out there. You  compare Hanson to Copland for example, Copland recordings are loaded in the catalogue. It is so sad that for someone like Hanson who has championed American music for his entire life he has no real modern champion.

I agree.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 15, 2010, 07:55:33 AM
I've been thinking what a great work 'Elegy in Memory of Serge Koussevitsky' is. It is actually my favourite Hanson work at the moment. I find it very moving, sad, resigned and yet defiant - a wonderful tribute to his friend (and all in under 12 minutes!). Like Sainton's 'Nadir' of Part's 'Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten', it says a great deal in a very short time scale.  The CD below is my favourite as it contains three of Hanson's finest scores in great performances (although Koussevitsky's own recording of Hanson's Symphony 3 is best of all).

ps The picture has come out tinsy - it features Symph 3, Elegy for Koussevitsky and the choral Lament for Beowolf - all conducted by Hanson himself.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: jowcol on February 15, 2010, 08:27:20 AM
That is an excellent disc, Jeffrey.  Lament for Beowulf is one of my favorite 20th Century Choral works.   
I must admit I haven't fully embraced Hanson's Third as much as I have 2,4, and 6.  The third is more of a true symphony-- maybe that is what has been holding me back!  I'll need to give it another try.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 15, 2010, 12:58:59 PM
That is an excellent disc, Jeffrey.  Lament for Beowulf is one of my favorite 20th Century Choral works.   
I must admit I haven't fully embraced Hanson's Third as much as I have 2,4, and 6.  The third is more of a true symphony-- maybe that is what has been holding me back!  I'll need to give it another try.

Thanks for the reply John,

Do you know Koussevitsky conducting Hanson's Symphony No 3? Like Beecham's Sibelius No 4 or Furtwangler's Bruckner No 9 it is, IMHO, in a class of its own as a performance. It was around, very cheaply on Dutton a while back. It sounds like a much greater work in this performance.

PS I agree about Lament for Beowulf.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: jowcol on February 16, 2010, 09:43:47 AM
I'm not sure if Symphonic Poem "Pan and the Priest" has come up yet, but that is also a fave of mine. 
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 17, 2010, 03:05:58 AM
I'm not sure if Symphonic Poem "Pan and the Priest" has come up yet, but that is also a fave of mine.

Played it this morning (Naxos version) - yes, it is a fine work.  My favourite unknown Hanson is the Bold Island Suite on Telarc, which is classic Hanson and should be better known.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Lethevich on February 17, 2010, 03:48:48 AM
Could somebody familiar with his symphony cycle maybe offer a mini overview of it? I ask because as far as I can tell, his first three are his most popular, then the next four rarely discussed. So far my favourite is his 6th*, and I find his 7th to be somewhat regressive and excessively comfortable. I don't know why I'm having such difficulties with the first three (the first two in particular) - it's such an overtly accessable language, but it's not clicking at all and I'm not sure what my expectations should be...

*I love it when Romantic composers of the 20th century, when confronted by modernism as an unavoidable trend, are forced to make subtle changes to their style to maintain a sense of "relevence". While these works are often mocked for such half-efforts, they can actually underline stylistic traits that were there all along in the composer's arsenal but simply not fully realised. I find the 6th's wonderful tight construction to fully epitomise this kind of work.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: jowcol on February 17, 2010, 06:06:44 AM
Could somebody familiar with his symphony cycle maybe offer a mini overview of it? I ask because as far as I can tell, his first three are his most popular, then the next four rarely discussed. So far my favourite is his 6th*, and I find his 7th to be somewhat regressive and excessively comfortable. I don't know why I'm having such difficulties with the first three (the first two in particular) - it's such an overtly accessable language, but it's not clicking at all and I'm not sure what my expectations should be...

*I love it when Romantic composers of the 20th century, when confronted by modernism as an unavoidable trend, are forced to make subtle changes to their style to maintain a sense of "relevence". While these works are often mocked for such half-efforts, they can actually underline stylistic traits that were there all along in the composer's arsenal but simply not fully realised. I find the 6th's wonderful tight construction to fully epitomise this kind of work.


Not sure if I can provide the best overview, but 4 is probably my favorite after the 2nd.  A bit more sombre than some of the others.  I've been known to put it on infinite repeat when I'm working. As I recall, 7 has some choral parts, and struck me as a bit lite-- but there is a great spot where he quotes on of the immortal progressions from the second.  I need to listen to 5 again-- it didn't pull me in originally.  And I'll definitely need to listen to 6 again with your comments in mind.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 17, 2010, 10:40:29 AM
I really like the sombre opening of Pan and the Priest. Very pleased to have discovered it.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: drogulus on February 18, 2010, 06:04:38 AM
Could somebody familiar with his symphony cycle maybe offer a mini overview of it? I ask because as far as I can tell, his first three are his most popular, then the next four rarely discussed. So far my favourite is his 6th*, and I find his 7th to be somewhat regressive and excessively comfortable. I don't know why I'm having such difficulties with the first three (the first two in particular) - it's such an overtly accessable language, but it's not clicking at all and I'm not sure what my expectations should be...

*I love it when Romantic composers of the 20th century, when confronted by modernism as an unavoidable trend, are forced to make subtle changes to their style to maintain a sense of "relevence". While these works are often mocked for such half-efforts, they can actually underline stylistic traits that were there all along in the composer's arsenal but simply not fully realised. I find the 6th's wonderful tight construction to fully epitomise this kind of work.

     The 5th (Sinfonia Sacra) hasn't received much attention but I find it quite stirring. It also has a tinge of modernism, at least by comparison with the earlier works.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Scarpia on February 18, 2010, 03:46:34 PM
I offer this bit of evidence:

(http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0506/classical/mono/harris.jpg)

It was mono so no CD release.

Now, can anyone tell me which Hanson symphonies have singing?

Here's another old Merc that was never reissued

(http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0506/classical/mono/griffes.jpg)

I have that one on vinyl, awful condition, paid 50 cents, just good enough to give an idea how good it would sound on a clean copy.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 18, 2010, 11:58:35 PM
I offer this bit of evidence:

(http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0506/classical/mono/harris.jpg)

It was mono so no CD release.

Now, can anyone tell me which Hanson symphonies have singing?

Here's another old Merc that was never reissued

(http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/music/0506/classical/mono/griffes.jpg)

I have that one on vinyl, awful condition, paid 50 cents, just good enough to give an idea how good it would sound on a clean copy.

Pictures didn't come out. Was the Merc with Hanson's 4th Symphony? Always regretted that not appearing on CD.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Scarpia on February 19, 2010, 12:35:31 AM
Whether the image appear or not seems to be a bit random.  I've attached them below.  I have the LP featuring Griffes and Loeffler.  Unfortunately I don't have the one with Hanson 4.  Both were Mono, and very very few of the Mono Mercury's ever got issued on CD.  The annoying thing was that just when they had run out of stereo issues and were starting the mono recordings they decided to start over and do them on SACD.  That project flopped (very few people feel the need to hear a DSD recording of an analog tape with 10% distortion and a 50dB noise floor) and they never got to the Mono releases.


Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 19, 2010, 12:48:41 AM
Whether the image appear or not seems to be a bit random.  I've attached them below.  I have the LP featuring Griffes and Loeffler.  Unfortunately I don't have the one with Hanson 4.  Both were Mono, and very very few of the Mono Mercury's ever got issued on CD.  The annoying thing was that just when they had run out of stereo issues and were starting the mono recordings they decided to start over and do them on SACD.  That project flopped (very few people feel the need to hear a DSD recording of an analog tape with 10% distortion and a 50dB noise floor) and they never got to the Mono releases.

Thanks - pictures came out fine. That Harris/Hanson LP looks really good. I have the Hanson on LP but with a different cover and coupling (Lament for Beowulf possibly - it's in the attic somewhere). This needs to be on CD. I have the Griffes on CD and Stokowski doing the Loeffler Poem.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: schweitzeralan on February 19, 2010, 08:15:52 AM
Whether the image appear or not seems to be a bit random.  I've attached them below.  I have the LP featuring Griffes and Loeffler.  Unfortunately I don't have the one with Hanson 4.  Both were Mono, and very very few of the Mono Mercury's ever got issued on CD.  The annoying thing was that just when they had run out of stereo issues and were starting the mono recordings they decided to start over and do them on SACD.  That project flopped (very few people feel the need to hear a DSD recording of an analog tape with 10% distortion and a 50dB noise floor) and they never got to the Mono releases.

I once owned both LPs but no longer.  I do miss the Loeffler.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Scarpia on February 19, 2010, 08:36:20 AM
Thanks - pictures came out fine. That Harris/Hanson LP looks really good. I have the Hanson on LP but with a different cover and coupling (Lament for Beowulf possibly - it's in the attic somewhere). This needs to be on CD. I have the Griffes on CD and Stokowski doing the Loeffler Poem.

Who do you have doing the Griffes (on CD)?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 19, 2010, 09:57:33 AM
Who do you have doing the Griffes (on CD)?

I thought I had Hanson doing it on a Mercury CD - but I don't - he conducts the Poem for Flute and Orchestra instead. I have a not very good Naxos version - an old Sony recording (Lois Lane I think - isn't that a character from 'Superman'?!) but by far the best is Charles Gerhardt on the great CD below:

PS (added later) I was talking rubbish - the Sony version is Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra, recorded in 1975 - Sony Essential Classics. Also a very atmospheric version, which I have just played.  The Gerhardt is better recorded I think.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 19, 2010, 11:57:49 PM
I have an interesting CD on Bay Cities of Hanson conducting the premiere performance of his valedictory ' A Sea Symphony (to words of Walt Witman)' in 1977 with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra in Interlochen, Michigan.  As the CD notes say, the performance is testimony to the obvious affection between the frail composer/conductor and his young performers. Also on the CD is the excellent 'Pan and the Priest' (thanks jowcol to alerting me to this work that I had hitherto ignored - interestingly premiered in London by Sir Henry Wood in 1926) and Variations on Two Ancient Hymn Tunes and Hanson's String Quartet - a great disc.

ps, I've added a link to a review on the US Amazon site, which suggests that Hanson 'should have been born a Brit' - to me, though, his music sounds very American. I guess that the suggestion was partly due to the fact that Vaughan Williams' much earlier 'Sea Symphony' is also to words by Whitman (having said that Whitman was American - maybe VW should have been born an American!) The VW may be the greater work but I enjoy the Hanson more.


http://www.amazon.com/Hanson-Symphony-Whitman-Variations-Ancient/dp/B00008ER4P/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1266653560&sr=1-4
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on February 20, 2010, 12:20:57 AM
Has his String Quartet been discussed?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 20, 2010, 12:27:35 AM
Has his String Quartet been discussed?

Don't think so - listening to it now. It seems an entirely characteristic work. It is in a single movement (17 mins). The booklet notes sum it up well '...impressive juxtaposition of heart-on-sleeve rhapsodic lyricism and passages of extrovert drama'. As with 'Pan and the Priest' I am surprised that I did not really notice it before - any Hanson fan should like it. By the way I note that the Bay Cities CD label no longer exists, but there seem to be second hand copies of the CD available for c $5.00 on the Amazon US site.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: eyeresist on February 21, 2010, 09:40:35 PM
I'm listening to a rip of my freshly-bought CD of symphonies 2 and 4, on Arte Nova. There are some brass glitches in the 4th, but otherwise this is really fine-sounding stuff with (possibly my projection) an enthusiastic orchestra, well led.

Slightly disturbed by obvious Sibelius moments in the 4th - Hanson has his own style, and doesn't need to borrow any other!

This is part of my renewed exploration of American composers, previously suspended due to too much crap accumulating. The problem is critics elevating many minor names to Great status (or at least praising without the necessary qualifying statements), thus obscuring the quality stuff from those who aren't already aficianados.

I'd say Hanson is great, and no excuses need be made for his emotionalism and melodism. I've just ordered the 4-disc Schwarz set. Is this all the Hanson I'll need?

Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on February 22, 2010, 02:56:30 AM
I'm listening to a rip of my freshly-bought CD of symphonies 2 and 4, on Arte Nova. There are some brass glitches in the 4th, but otherwise this is really fine-sounding stuff with (possibly my projection) an enthusiastic orchestra, well led.

Slightly disturbed by obvious Sibelius moments in the 4th - Hanson has his own style, and doesn't need to borrow any other!

This is part of my renewed exploration of American composers, previously suspended due to too much crap accumulating. The problem is critics elevating many minor names to Great status (or at least praising without the necessary qualifying statements), thus obscuring the quality stuff from those who aren't already aficianados.

I'd say Hanson is great, and no excuses need be made for his emotionalism and melodism. I've just ordered the 4-disc Schwarz set. Is this all the Hanson I'll need?

Inclined to agree with you about the Arte Nova CD, which was poorly reviewed. I love the Elegy to Koussevitsky. I'd say that you need Volume 5 of the Delos Hanson series (see image - not in boxed set) - I played it yesterday.  The opening work Dies Natalis is classic Hanson.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Lethevich on February 22, 2010, 05:06:56 AM
The problem is critics elevating many minor names to Great status (or at least praising without the necessary qualifying statements), thus obscuring the quality stuff from those who aren't already aficianados.
A big problem when exploring neglected music in general :(  The qualifications are most important to try to include, as many of the real inspired geniuses are also some of the most flawed, and people must understand what they are getting into
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on March 07, 2010, 03:26:46 AM
I have just discovered how good a work Hanson's 5th Symphony is; although I have it in the Delos box I had hardly played it before, as I tend to play the Mercury CDs. Symphony 5, as far as I know, is only available in the Delos set on CD. A concise and powerful work.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Scarpia on March 07, 2010, 08:39:08 AM
I have just discovered how good a work Hanson's 5th Symphony is; although I have it in the Delos box I had hardly played it before, as I tend to play the Mercury CDs. Symphony 5, as far as I know, is only available in the Delos set on CD. A concise and powerful work.

Does Hanson's 5th have chorus?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on March 07, 2010, 09:40:22 AM
Does Hanson's 5th have chorus?

No. Purely orchestral, and short: one movement, about fifteen minutes long. The 7th "A Sea Symphony" (words by Walt Whitman) employs a chorus.

Sarge
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on June 29, 2010, 06:45:40 AM
Found this CD second-hand on Amazon UK. It is a great disc and I love the Organ Concerto, which starts off a bit like Rautavaara. Whilst it is entirely characteristic of Hanson at his best, it is also unlike other works by him (not just because it features an organ!) I found this score very flowing in a sibelian kind of way and also inspiriting, especially the opening sections. This would be a great introduction to Hanson, notwithstanding the fact that it features lesser-known works.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on October 26, 2010, 10:36:07 AM
Always wondered why Mercury never issued Hanson's own recording of his eloquent 4th Symphony (in memory of his father) - maybe because it was in mono.  Well, here it is in a great coupling with a fine Roy Harris Symphony No 3 on Bearac.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: violinconcerto on May 31, 2011, 09:05:34 AM
Hello!

I have a question about the Hanson piece "Lux aeterna" op.24.
Most of the sources say the work is a symphonic poem for "orchestra with viola obbligato". But I was recently pointed on the fact that the CD recording of the piece mention a solo violist (Susan Gulkis) as well as a violinist (Ilkka Talvi). Therefore I tried to find out more about the instrumentation of the work and must find out that the publisher Carl Fischer says on his website the work is for "solo violin and orchestra" (if you are interested to see: http://www.carlfischer.com/Fischer/lib_hansonh.html)

So my questions are: Whats the true instrumentation of the work and what role does the violin play in it?

Thanks in advance and best wishes,
Tobias
www.violinconcerto.de
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on May 31, 2011, 09:45:17 AM
Hello!

I have a question about the Hanson piece "Lux aeterna" op.24.
Most of the sources say the work is a symphonic poem for "orchestra with viola obbligato". But I was recently pointed on the fact that the CD recording of the piece mention a solo violist (Susan Gulkis) as well as a violinist (Ilkka Talvi). Therefore I tried to find out more about the instrumentation of the work and must find out that the publisher Carl Fischer says on his website the work is for "solo violin and orchestra" (if you are interested to see: http://www.carlfischer.com/Fischer/lib_hansonh.html)

So my questions are: Whats the true instrumentation of the work and what role does the violin play in it?

Thanks in advance and best wishes,
Tobias
www.violinconcerto.de

The Delos notes describe it as 'much a free rhapsody for viola and orchestra' but there is clearly an important violin part too - as both viola and violin soloists are featured.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on January 05, 2012, 03:44:56 PM
Naxos are reissuing the old Delos/Schwarz cycle. This is a particularly fine release. I increasingly think that Symphony No 4 'Requiem' is the finest, certainly most moving, of the symphonies.  The Elegy for Koussevitsky (also on the CD below but not mentioned on the cover) is also a very powerful and deeply felt tribute (Koussevitsky's recording of Hanson's Third Symphony is as much revelation IMHO as Beecham's recording of Sibelius's 4th Symphony).

Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: The new erato on January 05, 2012, 03:49:42 PM
I increasingly think that Symphony No 4 'Requiem' is the finest, certainly most moving, of the symphonies. 
So do I. I have owned the Delos cycle since its original release.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on January 05, 2012, 03:51:58 PM
So do I. I have owned the Delos cycle since its original release.

Me too - it was a very nicely presented set.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on January 06, 2012, 02:23:02 AM
Forgot to mention that the Naxos CD above also includes the very fine 'Dies Natalis' showing Hanson's affection for Lutheran chorales. It's a great work, a little in the spirit of 'Lament for Beowulf' but not choral. 'Dies Natalis' was not included in the Delos boxed set but was issued on a separate single CD with other shorter orchestral works.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: jowcol on January 06, 2012, 03:46:16 AM
. I increasingly think that Symphony No 4 'Requiem' is the finest, certainly most moving, of the symphonies. 

I would have to agree-- after getting the entire cycle,  I find myself listening to the 4th more than the others combined.  I should probably devote more time to the 5th and 6th.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on June 05, 2013, 08:52:35 AM
Naxos are reissuing the old Delos/Schwarz cycle. This is a particularly fine release. I increasingly think that Symphony No 4 'Requiem' is the finest, certainly most moving, of the symphonies.  The Elegy for Koussevitsky (also on the CD below but not mentioned on the cover) is also a very powerful and deeply felt tribute (Koussevitsky's recording of Hanson's Third Symphony is as much revelation IMHO as Beecham's recording of Sibelius's 4th Symphony).



I HATE HANSON!!

Now that I have your attention: surely I heard the 'Romantic' from the library (maybe they had a second Delos also) waaay back in the day, but I believe I totally dismissed him.

I currently have the String Quartet (VoxBox) and the 6th Symphony & Piano Concerto (on some budget label). I popped on the 6th, ready to dismiss, and was heartened by the darker opening. I still didn't go too much farther. I also seem to have no interest in checking him out on YT. :( My prejudice is that he's just plain boring to these ears, so, I have trouble even wanting to try.

QUESTION: Is there a single piece, even a single Movement, that may redeem Hanson for me?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: cilgwyn on June 05, 2013, 09:11:32 AM
Forgot to mention that the Naxos CD above also includes the very fine 'Dies Natalis' showing Hanson's affection for Lutheran chorales. It's a great work, a little in the spirit of 'Lament for Beowulf' but not choral. 'Dies Natalis' was not included in the Delos boxed set but was issued on a separate single CD with other shorter orchestral works.
I LOVE HIS MUSIC! ;D

Quite frankly,either you like his music or you don't! If you don't even like No 6 snyprrr I don't think you're going to find anything else by Hanson that won't bore you out of your head! :( ;D
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 05, 2013, 09:51:56 AM
I HATE HANSON!!

Now that I have your attention: surely I heard the 'Romantic' from the library (maybe they had a second Delos also) waaay back in the day, but I believe I totally dismissed him.

I recently listened to the "Romantic" for the first time in ages and was rather pleasantly surprised. He's basically an American version of Atterberg or Franz Schmidt: a 20th century composer who writes as though the 20th century never happened. There's a certain integrity to that.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on June 06, 2013, 06:44:14 AM
I recently listened to the "Romantic" for the first time in ages and was rather pleasantly surprised. He's basically an American version of Atterberg or Franz Schmidt: a 20th century composer who writes as though the 20th century never happened. There's a certain integrity to that.

I LOVE HIS MUSIC! ;D

Quite frankly,either you like his music or you don't! If you don't even like No 6 snyprrr I don't think you're going to find anything else by Hanson that won't bore you out of your head! :( ;D

So, is the 6th the way to go? I said that it showed promise for me. I'll make a concerted effort here.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on June 06, 2013, 07:33:12 AM
I'm into the String Quartet Op.23. He certainly sounds a bit Nordic/Teutonic, a slight bit of Sibelius. Even though there is certainly a generous amount of melody, I'm just missing the last ounce of visionary angst/repose. Perhaps I'd like Myaskovsky more if he sounded just a tad more like this (not 'developing' all the time). Still, I'd like this Hanson more if it had some of that Myaskovskian nostalgia,... even though, here, Hanson has his own brand of 'long-ago-and-far-away' (it's a bit removed,... perhaps the recording (VoxBox) could use an operatic acoustic?). I'd like to hear another recording (though, this one is really very good).

Perhaps one could compare this with Randall Thompson's(sic?) 2 SQs?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 06, 2013, 08:15:53 AM
At the outset, I realize that the impression is nothing like lasting justice for the composer;  but it's my experience, and I cannot separate myself from it.  In a community band, we rehearsed a transcription of some movement or other from a Hanson symphony, and it was quite the least interesting piece of music I ever remember playing, in my life.

My question, then, for the assembled brethren is: suppose a fellow may not be inclined to enthusiasm for Hanson's music overall. Is there some single work which is somehow atypical, and yet a good work, which you would recommend to such a listener.

Not me; I have a friend . . . .

 
TIA
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on June 06, 2013, 11:03:12 AM
I'd try Dies Natalis or the Elegy for Koussevitsky.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 06, 2013, 11:12:48 AM
Thanks, Jeffrey! I see that there was a Schwarz/Seattle recording of the Dies natalis (with, strange coincidence, Jas Earl Jones reciting Whitman's The Mystic Trumpeter, a text I am in the midst of setting, myself), but I don't find it currently available.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on June 07, 2013, 07:41:14 AM
Thanks, Jeffrey! I see that there was a Schwarz/Seattle recording of the Dies natalis (with, strange coincidence, Jas Earl Jones reciting Whitman's The Mystic Trumpeter, a text I am in the midst of setting, myself), but I don't find it currently available.

Hi Karl,

I'd be inclined to get this CD. Although it doesn't mention the works on the CD cover the disc includes both 'Dies Natalis' and 'Elegy for Koussevitsky'. If someone wanted just one Hanson CD in their collection I feel that this would be as good as any.

Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 07, 2013, 07:43:18 AM
Thanks for pointing that out, Jeffrey! By a curious chance, I bookmarked that CD out of curiosity in the symphonies.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 07, 2013, 08:16:43 AM
Must say that the sound samples have whetted my appetite, and this CD is high on my wish list queue.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on June 07, 2013, 08:22:43 AM
I'd try Dies Natalis or the Elegy for Koussevitsky.

Symphony No.6: though very conservative, sounding Pastoral-Nordic, Hanson's concision wins the day for me. It's short and varied.

Symphony No.5 'Sacra': listening now. I'm enjoying the 'Perry Mason/ early Hitchcock' feel of this one. It's only 15mins. long?

Perhaps I was comparing Hanson to Shosty, in the excitement category, and so, naturally, Hanson lost out, back in the day. It's fine, he can be conservative for all I care. I'm liking No.5.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 07, 2013, 08:49:00 AM
Perhaps I was comparing Hanson to Shosty, in the excitement category, and so, naturally, Hanson lost out, back in the day.

This, I can understand completely; and I've reached a point, too, where my ears can take Hanson on his own terms.

GMG has fulfilled its mission yet again . . . .
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on June 07, 2013, 10:35:23 AM
I also like his Organ Concerto. There is a warmth about Hanson's music which I find both unique and appealing, despite the relative conservatism of the idiom.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: mszczuj on June 08, 2013, 11:28:00 AM
I was listening to some Hanson works last month and found this music boringly beautiful. I cheked what exactly track was played in the moment only once. And yes, it was Elegy for Koussevitsky.
 
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on June 09, 2013, 09:02:40 AM
I was listening to some Hanson works last month and found this music boringly baeutiful. I cheked what exactly track was played in the moment only once. And yes, it was Elegy for Koussevitsky.

Ahh,... between boredom and bombast lies Perfection!

It's amazing how so many mid-century Composers excelled in writing that 'Anonymous Grey Music' that always sounds 'cool' but is hardly ever 'memorable' (because of its 'grayness'). Furtwangler, Pijper, perhaps some Malipiero, and others elevated the mundane to High Drama,... take me loose, I'm speaking broadly,...

but I l can like this stuff,... and yes, that's what I hear in Hanson. I also hear in in the Myaskovsky-Without-the-Big-Tune. One ALWAYS needs a minor-second to hold on to,... doesn't one?, haha!


QUESTION:

What's the most 'Nordic' American Symphony? And, if you said Piston No.2, do you think Piston's evocation of Sibelian seriousness is greater than all of Hanson,... or?,... I'm saying I think Piston has 'Melody' hands down when compared with Hanson (as, all others who's Melodies are not as 'anonymous'). Does Hanson have a 'motto'? (remember, Denisov has a very 'Grey' motto)

Hanson sounds like what I may have hoped Rangstrom or some of the other CPO Scandanavian(sic) Symphonists, but, that's only saying they all sound like 20th-Century-Brahms, which, sorry, even Myaskovsky leaves me mostly wanting.

That brings us to the Topic of 'Nostalgia' in Music during the Period in which the Musical Language developed its Modern-Psychological-Profile (Schoenberg=Angry/Myaskovsky=Nostalgic/Hindemith=Businesslike/Finzi=Yearning). The Language-of-Nostalgia matured in the 20th Century.

Don't we all begin to cringe when the Music becomes just a shade too OverRipe? That Mystical Point Just BEFORE Manipulation? What IS It? :o
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: mszczuj on June 09, 2013, 12:50:19 PM
Well, I wrote "boringly beautiful", not "boringly attempting to be beautiful". The difference is that I found it beautiful, which is of course not bad. Nevertheless it lacks something to be really interesting. Probably revelation. Beauty should perhaps explode in revelation. Here we have comfortable luxurious beauty which works so perfectly in its own circle, that we - me at least - want to ask: so what?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on June 09, 2013, 03:49:15 PM
Well, I wrote "boringly beautiful", not "boringly attempting to be beautiful". The difference is that I found it beautiful, which is of course not bad. Nevertheless it lacks something to be really interesting. Probably revelation. Beauty should perhaps explode in revelation. Here we have comfortable luxurious beauty which works so perfectly in its own circle, that we - me at least - want to ask: so what?

No, I agree with you.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 19, 2013, 05:52:45 AM
So, is the 6th the way to go?

Quite possibly. Here's an intriguing discussion of the 6th:

http://unsungsymphonies.blogspot.com/2010/09/middle-america-has-given-us-two-great.html

I've also ordered an obscure LP of it, conducted by a certain Siegfried Landau.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: pencils on July 08, 2013, 04:02:28 AM
Having only ever had access to the first two symphonies, I have procured a digital copy of the entire set. I love 1 & 2, so am looking forward to listening my way through the lot.

Small pleasures, but I am delighted. Just thought I would share  :P
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on July 08, 2013, 06:24:43 AM
Having only ever had access to the first two symphonies, I have procured a digital copy of the entire set. I love 1 & 2, so am looking forward to listening my way through the lot.

Small pleasures, but I am delighted. Just thought I would share  :P

Detailed Report Required
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 08, 2013, 07:21:41 AM
The 6th Symphony turns out to be tighter, less fluffy, and slightly more modernistic in tone than the others I've heard. Probably the most impressive of his symphonies. That said, there is a certain Quixotic appeal to Hanson's more reactionary effusions.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 08, 2013, 09:11:03 AM
I've listened to nos. 5 & 6, so far, and I like them very well, much better (honestly) than ever I thought I should enjoy a Hanson piece.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: springrite on July 08, 2013, 09:13:06 AM
I've listened to nos. 5 & 6, so far, and I like them very well, much better (honestly) than ever I thought I should enjoy a Hanson piece.

My thoughts exactly.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: San Antone on July 08, 2013, 09:27:31 AM
Hanson is a composer that while I realize I should have listened to more, nevertheless, I have not focused on his music much.  Today I am listening to No. 6 and, so far, finding it very enjoyable.

No. 5 will be next, or No. 7.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on July 09, 2013, 07:19:26 AM
I've listened to nos. 5 & 6, so far, and I like them very well, much better (honestly) than ever I thought I should enjoy a Hanson piece.

Is it downhill from here? I await detailed reports.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: pencils on July 09, 2013, 01:18:34 PM
I'm not sure I could do much justice, to be honest. I can probably tell you what I like, though ???
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: cilgwyn on July 10, 2013, 01:04:54 AM
Love 'em all meeself! :o ;D Even the  Seventh,now,which I didn't previously like.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 02:32:49 AM
Love 'em all meeself! :o ;D Even the  Seventh,now,which I didn't previously like.

Could you say more on that transition?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on July 10, 2013, 05:57:10 AM
Could you say more on that transition?

Yes, we need to know WHY?!?!?! :laugh:
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on July 10, 2013, 05:59:53 AM
Parts of Symphony No.2 in the end credits to Alien (1979)????
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 06:01:59 AM
Yes, and I think Hanson's music was uncredited in the initial release of the film (our Bogey would know better, and for certain).
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 17, 2013, 12:14:57 PM
It's about time this thread is resurrected, methinks. Hanson is a composer who too many people talk trash about. He wasn't an innovator, he didn't aim to create the most nails-on-the-chalkboard sounds ever heard, he didn't aim to please the snobbish critics-he just wrote music from the heart, plain and simple. Apart from his Symphony no. 2 Romantic, which has deserved popularity, little of his output is known to the average classical listener, and that's a real shame. His seven symphonies, which form the backbone of his output, are all deeply stirring works (with the possible exception of the Seventh). Nos. 3-5, especially, are all at least on the level of no. 2. No. 3 is a sweepingly romantic work in the vein of no.2. Nos. 4 and 5 are turbulent works with moments of spiritual repose that completely invalidate any arguments that Hanson was a sentimental lightweight. The influence of Sibelius can be heard in all of Hanson's works (especially Symphony no. 1), to varying degrees, but hey, Sibelius isn't a bad influence, that's for sure! I love a lot of his non-symphonic works too, especially the vividly atmospheric Bold Island Suite, the lyrical, tuneful Merry Mount Suite (which boasts a soaringly beautiful Love Duet), and the Variations on Two Ancient Hymn Tunes for strings, which was wonderfully rich string writing that recalls RVW. I've also found much to enjoy in his comparatively small chamber and solo piano outputs. These are my top five favorite Hanson recordings (in order):

1. (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jMAH3H06L._SY300_.jpg)

Kunzel, mainly known as a "pops" conductor, is, perhaps surprisingly, right in his element in Hanson. This disc is worth purchasing on the sole basis of that it is the only recording of the stunningly gorgeous Bold Island Suite. Everything is passionately done, making this my favorite Hanson disc. On top of all that, you get the glorious Telarc sound!

2. (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A93S0AVKL._SX300_.jpg)

Schwarz and the Seattle SO pour their hearts into these three highly emotional works.

3. (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51J1M77CJSL._SX300_.jpg)

Symphony no. 4 and Lament for Beowulf are both dark works, with which the lighter but not inconsequential Merry Mount Suite contrasts excellently. Again, Schwarz and his band give their all.

4. (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41H6W6WJQWL.jpg)

Excellent performances of two overlooked symphonies and the delightful Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Youth.

5. (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HeH438CVL._SY300_.jpg)

Schermerhorn is a really underrated conductor and the Nashville SO is a really underrated orchestra who give Schwarz a run for his money in Symphony no. 1 and the Merry Mount Suite. The two rarely-heard "fillers", the atmospheric, Bax-meets-Sibelius tone poem Pan and the Priest and the lushly modal Rhythmic Variations on Two Ancient Hymn Tunes for strings are alone worth the modest price of admission.

What are everyone else's favorite Hanson works and recordings? :)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 18, 2013, 12:45:12 AM
Totally agree with you about Bold Island Suite - classic Hanson. I don't understand why it was never recorded before. That Kunzel CD is indeed one of the great Hanson discs, also due to a terrific performance of Symphony No 2. I also like the Slatkin recording on EMI. The other great recording is by Charles Gerhardt on a CD called 'Great American Composers' on the Chesky label. Koussevitsky's recording of Symphony No 3 (Dutton) is in a class of its own.

However, I think that best of all is the Naxos CD with symphonies 4 and 5, the Elegy for Koussevitsky and the wonderfully moving 'Dies Natalis' which was not included in the Delos box set but issued subsequently. The Elegy is one of Hanson's most moving works, in which he seems to want to summon up the spirit of his old friend Koussevitsky. 'Dies Natalis' is also classic Hanson. So, that is my favourite Hanson CD of the moment.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 18, 2013, 08:45:52 AM
Totally agree with you about Bold Island Suite - classic Hanson. I don't understand why it was never recorded before. That Kunzel CD is indeed one of the great Hanson discs, also due to a terrific performance of Symphony No 2. I also like the Slatkin recording on EMI. The other great recording is by Charles Gerhardt on a CD called 'Great American Composers' on the Chesky label. Koussevitsky's recording of Symphony No 3 (Dutton) is in a class of its own.

However, I think that best of all is the Naxos CD with symphonies 4 and 5, the Elegy for Koussevitsky and the wonderfully moving 'Dies Natalis' which was not included in the Delos box set but issued subsequently. The Elegy is one of Hanson's most moving works, in which he seems to want to summon up the spirit of his old friend Koussevitsky. 'Dies Natalis' is also classic Hanson. So, that is my favourite Hanson CD of the moment.

Thanks for your reply, Jeffrey. It was difficult to choose just five favorite Hanson recordings and the discs you mention are all very fine indeed. :) Have you heard his piano works or his String Quartet? They're lovely works that show Hanson was adept at writing for media other than the orchestra. I have these excellent recordings:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51i9Om0z68L._SY300_.jpg)   (http://content.answcdn.com/main/content/img/amg/classical_albums/cov200/cl600/l617/l61717iva9j.jpg)

The two string quartets by Randall Thompson with which the Hanson is suitably coupled are both very engaging, freshly lyrical pieces.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2013, 08:58:27 AM

The two string quartets by Randall Thompson with which the Hanson is suitably coupled are both very engaging, freshly lyrical pieces.

Not to hijack this thread, but I would love to hear some more modern performances of Thompson's symphonies. The ones on Koch just aren't sufficient enough and too bad Bernstein didn't record the rest of them. :(
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 18, 2013, 09:09:13 AM
Not to hijack this thread, but I would love to hear some more modern performances of Thompson's symphonies. The ones on Koch just aren't sufficient enough and too bad Bernstein didn't record the rest of them. :(

I feel you, John. There's a lot of American composers who I wish Bernstein had recorded more of, Thompson being one of them. His symphonies are life-affirming works which have that special open-air feel which characterizes a lot of American music written at the time, but there's nothing overdone or trite in them. They feel so "fresh" compared to, say, Roy Harris' lesser works. Back to the thread topic, what do you think of Hanson's music, John?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 18, 2013, 09:48:18 AM
I feel you, John. There's a lot of American composers who I wish Bernstein had recorded more of, Thompson being one of them. His symphonies are life-affirming works which have that special open-air feel which characterizes a lot of American music written at the time, but there's nothing overdone or trite in them. They feel so "fresh" compared to, say, Roy Harris' lesser works. Back to the thread topic, what do you think of Hanson's music, John?

Unfortunately, I don't think much of Hanson's music. I own several of the Schwarz recordings, but found the music particularly unmemorable, but probably need to plan a revisit as it's been several years since I've listened to any of his music.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 18, 2013, 10:00:16 AM
Unfortunately, I don't think much of Hanson's music. I own several of the Schwarz recordings, but found the music particularly unmemorable, but probably need to plan a revisit as it's been several years since I've listened to any of his music.

Thanks for being honest, John. Please do revisit your Hanson recordings if you have time. :)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: pencils on August 18, 2013, 11:51:26 AM
1 and 6, are particular favourites. Not such a huge fan of 7, but I didn't fancy the choral aspects much.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 18, 2013, 12:18:09 PM
1 and 6, are particular favourites. Not such a huge fan of 7, but I didn't fancy the choral aspects much.

I agree, the Seventh is definitely Hanson's weakest symphony. Hanson wrote better for chorus and orchestra in works such as Lament for Beowulf and Song of Democracy.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 18, 2013, 10:39:18 PM
Not to hijack this thread, but I would love to hear some more modern performances of Thompson's symphonies. The ones on Koch just aren't sufficient enough and too bad Bernstein didn't record the rest of them. :(

OT

There is this one:

Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 18, 2013, 11:01:37 PM
In addition to Kyle's suggestions here are my favourite Hanson CDs of the moment:


The above CD also features two marvellous works the Elegy for Koussevitsky and Dies Natalis.

The Organ Concerto was another fine Hanson discovery, through this forum:



Slatkin's version of Symphony No 2 is very good too:



I have not included images of CDs which are now difficult to get hold of or very expensive, but these would include Koussevitsky's recording of Symphony No 3. The Dutton recording is now only available absurdly priced (I got it for £5.00) but you can find the same version on Biddulph in a not so good transfer, but still worth having. The other great Hanson CD which comes to mind is his own Mercury recording of Symphony 3 with the Koussevitsky Elegy and Lament for Beowulf, which now seems to be available only as a download - although Hanson's recording of symphonies 1 and 2 is available on CD.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 18, 2013, 11:15:36 PM
Thanks for your reply, Jeffrey. It was difficult to choose just five favorite Hanson recordings and the discs you mention are all very fine indeed. :) Have you heard his piano works or his String Quartet? They're lovely works that show Hanson was adept at writing for media other than the orchestra. I have these excellent recordings:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51i9Om0z68L._SY300_.jpg)   (http://content.answcdn.com/main/content/img/amg/classical_albums/cov200/cl600/l617/l61717iva9j.jpg)

The two string quartets by Randall Thompson with which the Hanson is suitably coupled are both very engaging, freshly lyrical pieces.
Kyle,
I have the piano music CD but can't really recall what I thought of it - so I must listen to it again. The SQ CD Hanson/Thompson looks very tempting I must say! I shall look out for it.  Many thanks for the recommendation.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: cilgwyn on August 19, 2013, 07:09:01 AM
I agree, the Seventh is definitely Hanson's weakest symphony. Hanson wrote better for chorus and orchestra in works such as Lament for Beowulf and Song of Democracy.
At last we're in total agreement,kyjo! ;D :) A wonderful composer. I love his music. In fact I don't think I've heard anything by Hanson I didn't enjoy. I even like his Seventh. The quote from No 2 is particularly moving.
Marvellous!
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 19, 2013, 07:18:21 AM
At last we're in total agreement,kyjo! ;D :) A wonderful composer. I love his music. In fact I don't think I've heard anything by Hanson I didn't enjoy. I even like his Seventh. The quote from No 2 is particularly moving.
Marvellous!

I'm sure Hanson isn't the only composer we both love! :D It's just that the composers I have happened to bring up recently you don't really connect with. :) Not to get off-topic, but who are some of your very favorite composers, cilgwyn?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 19, 2013, 07:29:30 AM
In addition to Kyle's suggestions here are my favourite Hanson CDs of the moment:


The above CD also features two marvellous works the Elegy for Koussevitsky and Dies Natalis.

The Organ Concerto was another fine Hanson discovery, through this forum:



Slatkin's version of Symphony No 2 is very good too:



I have not included images of CDs which are now difficult to get hold of or very expensive, but these would include Koussevitsky's recording of Symphony No 3. The Dutton recording is now only available absurdly priced (I got it for £5.00) but you can find the same version on Biddulph in a not so good transfer, but still worth having. The other great Hanson CD which comes to mind is his own Mercury recording of Symphony 3 with the Koussevitsky Elegy and Lament for Beowulf, which now seems to be available only as a download - although Hanson's recording of symphonies 1 and 2 is available on CD.

The Organ Concerto is a very fine piece indeed. The recording on the Naxos CD is of the reduced version with strings and harp accompaniment, but, apparently, there is a version with full orchestra as well that I believe includes more material than the reduced version. The other pieces that are on the disc with the Organ Concerto are beautifully atmospheric little works that showcase Hanson's more delicate side.

The Koussevitsky recording of Symphony no. 3 is a great one no doubt, but, sadly, the audio quality gets in the way of my enjoyment of it somewhat. So I prefer the Schwarz recording simply (but not solely) because of the superior audio quality. :)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 19, 2013, 09:58:49 AM
The Organ Concerto is a very fine piece indeed. The recording on the Naxos CD is of the reduced version with strings and harp accompaniment, but, apparently, there is a version with full orchestra as well that I believe includes more material than the reduced version. The other pieces that are on the disc with the Organ Concerto are beautifully atmospheric little works that showcase Hanson's more delicate side.

The Koussevitsky recording of Symphony no. 3 is a great one no doubt, but, sadly, the audio quality gets in the way of my enjoyment of it somewhat. So I prefer the Schwarz recording simply (but not solely) because of the superior audio quality. :)

Have you heard the Dutton issue of the Koussevitsky Kyle? They do wonders with the recording.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on August 19, 2013, 10:09:56 AM
Have you heard the Dutton issue of the Koussevitsky Kyle? They do wonders with the recording.
No, I have only heard the issue on Mercury Living Presence and wasn't aware of the one on Dutton; thanks for pointing it out to me. :) It's this one, right?

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Feb02/copland_hanson.jpg)

Are your familiar with this disc, Jeffrey? If so, what are your impressions of it? I've had my eye on it for a future purchase:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518QZR2R9KL._SY450_.jpg)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 20, 2013, 11:39:21 AM
No, I have only heard the issue on Mercury Living Presence and wasn't aware of the one on Dutton; thanks for pointing it out to me. :) It's this one, right?

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Feb02/copland_hanson.jpg)

Are your familiar with this disc, Jeffrey? If so, what are your impressions of it? I've had my eye on it for a future purchase:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518QZR2R9KL._SY450_.jpg)

Yes, that's the Dutton Koussevitsky CD. Sadly it is often ridiculously priced now but may come round again. The fact remains that it is THE outstanding transfer of that magnificent performance of Hanson's Third Symphony and the Copland works are outstanding in all respects. I have the Arte Nova disc of symphonies 2 and 4 and rather like it, although I read an indifferent review of it. It is dirt cheap and worth having. There are some interesting things on that label including a really fine version of Walton's First Symphony from (surprisingly) the Orchestra of Grand Canary, conducted by Adrian Leaper.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Rons_talking on January 20, 2015, 06:47:24 PM
One my first vinyl discs of American music not by Copland was a Mercury recording of Hanson's Fourth (my favorite) and Piston's Third, which is also great. I wore the thing out and still frequently listen to Hanson's 4th. I haven't heard much of his non-symphony music.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on January 21, 2015, 06:42:10 AM
One my first vinyl discs of American music not by Copland was a Mercury recording of Hanson's Fourth (my favorite) and Piston's Third, which is also great. I wore the thing out and still frequently listen to Hanson's 4th. I haven't heard much of his non-symphony music.

I had that LP too and loved it. For some reason Mercury did not issue it on CD. Coincidentally I was listening to Hanson's Sixth Symphony in the car today - it is a fine work with a slow movement I find very touching. It is made up of six movements but only lasts about twenty minutes. I was listening to the Delos recording. Try the moving 'Elegy to Koussevitsky' and the fine 'Dies Natalis' for the non-symphonic work as well as 'Lament for Beowolf' and the Organ and Piano concertos. The opening movement of the Piano Concerto is very touching. There are numerous recordings.

Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: snyprrr on January 21, 2015, 09:41:03 AM
I declare him My Most Boring Composer. :(

For having a bunch of title like 'Elegy', 'Requiem', 'Sacra', and all that, he is quite free of gut wrenching emotional impact a la Shosty. HH could have turned me off of CM altogether, i IMagine... "your grandfather's classical music"... sorry guys!! 0:)
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 21, 2015, 10:18:36 AM
I declare him My Most Boring Composer. :(

I gotta say, I've enjoyed spinning the Mercury LP of his 1st and 3rd symphonies, conducted by him. And the 2nd, conducted by Slatkin. (And the 6th.) HH is the American Kurt Atterberg - sometimes I'm in the mood for that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2015, 10:20:24 AM
I declare him My Most Boring Composer. :(

For having a bunch of title like 'Elegy', 'Requiem', 'Sacra', and all that, he is quite free of gut wrenching emotional impact a la Shosty.

See, you're all about the frisson.  I get that.  But music needn't wrench your gut to be great.  (I should even argue that it does Shostakovich a disservice if we force even his work onto that Procrustean divan.)

At Jeffrey's suggestion, I investigated the Elegy, and I find it simply lovely.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on January 21, 2015, 12:17:00 PM
See, you're all about the frisson.  I get that.  But music needn't wrench your gut to be great.  (I should even argue that it does Shostakovich a disservice if we force even his work onto that Procrustean divan.)

At Jeffrey's suggestion, I investigated the Elegy, and I find it simply lovely.

Glad you liked it Karl. I like Shostakovich too but like ATOA I sometimes prefer to to listen to Hanson. It has an underlying warmth and humanity which I find appealing.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 20, 2015, 12:41:47 AM
Glad you liked it Karl. I like Shostakovich too but like ATOA I sometimes prefer to to listen to Hanson. It has an underlying warmth and humanity which I find appealing.

The curious thing is:  first, as a result of explorations inspired by this thread, I have recordings (the Schwarz/Seattle, which I know not everyone here cares for, but I think them fine) of the Fourth through Seventh symphonies.

And now, thanks to having fetched in the Mercury Living Presence 2 box, I have the composer's own recordings in Rochester of the First through Third.  Which is to say, I never did imagine I should at any time own a complete set of the Hanson symphonies.  Soon, I shall give those first three an attentive listen.


Oh!  I did listen to the Lament for Beowulf last week.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson [1896-1981]
Post by: Scion7 on August 29, 2016, 02:32:21 AM
Contains a quite nice version of Dies natalis II, for Band  (1972)

Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 29, 2016, 05:16:55 PM
I've been revisiting some Hanson lately and I've got to say I'm mightily impressed with what I've heard so far. Archaic Torso of Apollo mentioned that Hanson was like an American Kurt Atterberg. That is an apt observation and one I'm inclined to agree with. Symphony No. 4, "Requiem" I found to be quite gripping. I also liked Symphony No. 3 a lot.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 29, 2016, 10:14:53 PM
I've been revisiting some Hanson lately and I've got to say I'm mightily impressed with what I've heard so far. Archaic Torso of Apollo mentioned that Hanson was like an American Kurt Atterberg. That is an apt observation and one I'm inclined to agree with. Symphony No. 4, "Requiem" I found to be quite gripping. I also liked Symphony No. 3 a lot.
I think that the Atterberg comparison is apt as well. I like both of those symphonies too John. I've been listening to Hanson's original 1940s recording of his Symphony 1 'Nordic'. I know that you are not too keen on historical recording but like Koussevitsky's recording of Symphony 3 it has a gripping intensity unlike any of the other versions I have heard including Hanson's later 'Mercury' recording and the more recent one under Gerard Schwarz, fine as they are.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 30, 2016, 05:21:16 AM
I think that the Atterberg comparison is apt as well. I like both of those symphonies too John. I've been listening to Hanson's original 1940s recording of his Symphony 1 'Nordic'. I know that you are not too keen on historical recording but like Koussevitsky's recording of Symphony 3 it has a gripping intensity unlike any of the other versions I have heard including Hanson's later 'Mercury' recording and the more recent one under Gerard Schwarz, fine as they are.

I'm sure the Koussevitsky Hanson 3rd is intense. As much as I love Schwarz's performances, I'd love to have heard someone like Bernstein conduct Hanson's symphonies as I believe he would have given them a fiery approach that they need. Imagine Bernstein in the 3rd or 4th. Wow.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 30, 2016, 06:53:33 AM
I'm sure the Koussevitsky Hanson 3rd is intense. As much as I love Schwarz's performances, I'd love to have heard someone like Bernstein conduct Hanson's symphonies as I believe he would have given them a fiery approach that they need. Imagine Bernstein in the 3rd or 4th. Wow.
That's the problem, they really haven't been given a good performance. There is no alternate to Borin' Schwarz in terms of modern recordings. I am sorry I just don't like the Schwarz Seattle recordings. They are nice enough but in no way very memorable, plus the sound volume is very low (try the one with the Serenade for Flute Harp Strings). I always wish an Eastern European ensemble like the Nat. SO of the Ukraine would have taken it, at least it will sound a bit more urgeant.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 30, 2016, 09:24:44 AM
Having been gripped by Hanson's own first recording of Symphony 1 'Nordic' I have now turned my attention to Symphony 2 'Romantic' recorded in 1939 (Biddulph CD) and feel rather guilty about sniffly turning my nose up at the 'Hollywoodishness' of Symphony 2. I was gripped and moved throughout the performance despite the 'snap, crackle and pop' of the recording surface. They remind me a bit in their intensity of those very early Kajanus recordings of the Sibelius symphonies which have a similar urgency and visionary quality about them.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 30, 2016, 10:06:06 AM
I really like this recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rcx97ys5L._SS500.jpg)

Somehow optimistically dubbed Volume 1 (there are no other Volumes). The playing is so much more gripping and everything stands out more than either the Mercury recording with a rather scrawny sounding Rochester Orchestra or the rather aloof Seattle SO.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 30, 2016, 05:45:17 PM
That's the problem, they really haven't been given a good performance. There is no alternate to Borin' Schwarz in terms of modern recordings. I am sorry I just don't like the Schwarz Seattle recordings. They are nice enough but in no way very memorable, plus the sound volume is very low (try the one with the Serenade for Flute Harp Strings). I always wish an Eastern European ensemble like the Nat. SO of the Ukraine would have taken it, at least it will sound a bit more urgeant.

What I consider good and you consider good are two different things. I like the Schwarz recordings and I have no problems with them whatsoever. They do the job for me.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 30, 2016, 09:51:22 PM
I really like this recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rcx97ys5L._SS500.jpg)

Somehow optimistically dubbed Volume 1 (there are no other Volumes). The playing is so much more gripping and everything stands out more than either the Mercury recording with a rather scrawny sounding Rochester Orchestra or the rather aloof Seattle SO.
Totally agree with you. It is my favourite modern recording of the 'Nordic' and the CD also contains another very fine shorter work 'Pan and the Priest'. I'm sorry too that Maestro Schemerhorn didn't record any more Hanson. Maybe Naxos found it more economically viable to reissue the pre-recorded Schwarz series than record new versions - a pity if true. I hadn't noticed before that it says 'Orchestral Works, Vol.1'.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 31, 2016, 05:11:38 AM
Totally agree with you. It is my favourite modern recording of the 'Nordic' and the CD also contains another very fine shorter work 'Pan and the Priest'. I'm sorry too that Maestro Schemerhorn didn't record any more Hanson. Maybe Naxos found it more economically viable to reissue the pre-recorded Schwarz series than record new versions - a pity if true. I hadn't noticed before that it says 'Orchestral Works, Vol.1'.

What made it even worse is Schermerhorn passed away, so there wasn't any possible way for him to finish the cycle.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on August 31, 2016, 06:58:12 AM
I've been revisiting some Hanson lately and I've got to say I'm mightily impressed with what I've heard so far. Archaic Torso of Apollo mentioned that Hanson was like an American Kurt Atterberg.
Ugh. If there is ever a kiss of death is is something like " This composer is the [fill in the nationality] [fill in another composer]". Remember they call Joseph Martin Kraus(?) "the Swedish Mozart"? Somehow that really stuck and everytime they play his music they say: here is a piece by the Swedish Mozart. Until the listener figures out Kraus ain't no Mozart.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on August 31, 2016, 07:45:53 AM
What made it even worse is Schermerhorn passed away, so there wasn't any possible way for him to finish the cycle.
Oh, that's very sad news indeed but thanks for letting us know John. I shall play that CD in tribute later.

Somehow I imagined him as someone younger:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Schermerhorn

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/19/arts/music/kenneth-schermerhorn-rigorous-conductor-dies-at-75.html?_r=0
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 01, 2016, 06:21:34 AM
Oh, that's very sad news indeed but thanks for letting us know John. I shall play that CD in tribute later.

Somehow I imagined him as someone younger:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Schermerhorn

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/19/arts/music/kenneth-schermerhorn-rigorous-conductor-dies-at-75.html?_r=0

Yeah, as you can see he died years ago. I knew of his death whenever I started collecting a few of his recordings. He's most notably remembered IMHO for his championship of Villa-Lobos. He also made an Ives recording of Symphony No. 2 and Robert Browning Overture that are worth your consideration.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Heck148 on September 01, 2016, 06:56:43 AM
I remember being very impressed with this once upon a time.....so I am playing it now. Thank you for reminding me. Glorious tunes. All those fans of Atterberg really ought to immerse themselves in Hanson as well.

That is a very good disc - The Merry Mount Suite is well done as well, equal to, but different from Hanson's own with Eastman-Rochester on Mercury.
Merry Mount is excellent - both full opera, and Suite...the Love-Duet wipes me out every time.

Sym #3 is my favorite, but #1 Nordic is very fine also - powerful stuff...Hanson knew how to draw a big sonority from the orchestra.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 01, 2016, 07:00:12 AM
Yeah, as you can see he died years ago. I knew of his death whenever I started collecting a few of his recordings. He's most notably remembered IMHO for his championship of Villa-Lobos. He also made an Ives recording of Symphony No. 2 and Robert Browning Overture that are worth your consideration.
There is a nice 11cd set with the deceased maestro and his Nashville forces if anyone is interested.

https://www.amazon.com/Schermerhorn-Symphony-Center-Commemorative-Collection/dp/B0017A8OOQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1472745523&sr=8-7&keywords=nashville+symphony+orchestra (https://www.amazon.com/Schermerhorn-Symphony-Center-Commemorative-Collection/dp/B0017A8OOQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1472745523&sr=8-7&keywords=nashville+symphony+orchestra)

Speaking of overly optimistic. Anyone remember this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51uH56KFG3L._SS500.jpg)

Dubbed "Brian Cycle"?
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on September 02, 2016, 11:32:17 PM
That is a very good disc - The Merry Mount Suite is well done as well, equal to, but different from Hanson's own with Eastman-Rochester on Mercury.
Merry Mount is excellent - both full opera, and Suite...the Love-Duet wipes me out every time.

Sym #3 is my favorite, but #1 Nordic is very fine also - powerful stuff...Hanson knew how to draw a big sonority from the orchestra.

Those are my favourites too although I like all of the Hanson symphonies. Probably my order of preference would be:

No.3
No.1 'Nordic'
No.4 (Requiem for his Father)
No.5 'Sacra'
No.2 'Romantic'
No.6
No.7 'Sea Symphony'
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on September 02, 2016, 11:34:28 PM
There is a nice 11cd set with the deceased maestro and his Nashville forces if anyone is interested.

https://www.amazon.com/Schermerhorn-Symphony-Center-Commemorative-Collection/dp/B0017A8OOQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1472745523&sr=8-7&keywords=nashville+symphony+orchestra (https://www.amazon.com/Schermerhorn-Symphony-Center-Commemorative-Collection/dp/B0017A8OOQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1472745523&sr=8-7&keywords=nashville+symphony+orchestra)

Speaking of overly optimistic. Anyone remember this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51uH56KFG3L._SS500.jpg)

Dubbed "Brian Cycle"?
Yes, I have that Brian CD too. The Schemerhorn set looks great but too expensive for me. However, I will look out for some of his other recordings.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on November 15, 2017, 02:12:45 PM
I was reading through this thread and came across comments which stated that while Schwarz's Hanson cycle is beautifully played and recorded, it lacks forward motion and a sense of architecture that is so vital to Hanson's music - I totally agree. Schwarz captures Hanson's lush, Romantic side very well - which is great - but rather misses out on the elemental, Sibelian power of his music. I compared the Schwarz and Kunzel (Telarc) recordings of the 2nd Symphony and the differences are readily apparent. Kunzel gives a sweeping, dramatic performance that never loses sight of the work's romantic essence, while Schwarz seems rather lethargic and over-indulgent by comparison.

So, in summary, Schwarz's Hanson cycle is certainly a great achievement, but should not be considered the last word on these works. There's more substance to be found under the surface of Hanson's lushly orchestrated, melodic music than Schwarz uncovers IMO. It's high time someone records a new Hanson cycle, but I'm not betting on it anytime soon. Then again, we have two Atterberg cycles, so all hope is not lost ;D If only Bernstein would've taken interest in Hanson's music...

P.S. We even more desperately need a complete cycle of Diamond's symphonies! It's a real pity that Schwarz and Naxos seem to have abandoned their Diamond series. A new Piston cycle would sure be nice, too!
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 15, 2017, 11:07:46 PM
I was reading through this thread and came across comments which stated that while Schwarz's Hanson cycle is beautifully played and recorded, it lacks forward motion and a sense of architecture that is so vital to Hanson's music - I totally agree. Schwarz captures Hanson's lush, Romantic side very well - which is great - but rather misses out on the elemental, Sibelian power of his music. I compared the Schwarz and Kunzel (Telarc) recordings of the 2nd Symphony and the differences are readily apparent. Kunzel gives a sweeping, dramatic performance that never loses sight of the work's romantic essence, while Schwarz seems rather lethargic and over-indulgent by comparison.

So, in summary, Schwarz's Hanson cycle is certainly a great achievement, but should not be considered the last word on these works. There's more substance to be found under the surface of Hanson's lushly orchestrated, melodic music than Schwarz uncovers IMO. It's high time someone records a new Hanson cycle, but I'm not betting on it anytime soon. Then again, we have two Atterberg cycles, so all hope is not lost ;D If only Bernstein would've taken interest in Hanson's music...

P.S. We even more desperately need a complete cycle of Diamond's symphonies! It's a real pity that Schwarz and Naxos seem to have abandoned their Diamond series. A new Piston cycle would sure be nice, too!
Agree with everything you say here Kyle. Koussevitsky's Sibelian recording of Hanson's Third Symphony is IMHO the greatest performance of any Hanson symphony.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on November 16, 2017, 06:54:38 AM
Agree with everything you say here Kyle. Koussevitsky's Sibelian recording of Hanson's Third Symphony is IMHO the greatest performance of any Hanson symphony.

I'm generally not a huge fan of historical recordings (due to sound quality), but I'd love to hear this. Unfortunately, it's OOP on Amazon and unavailable on YouTube and Spotify :( Do you know Hanson's own recording of his 3rd on Mercury? I haven't heard it yet myself.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: Mirror Image on November 16, 2017, 06:58:02 AM
I'm generally not a huge fan of historical recordings (due to sound quality), but I'd love to hear this. Unfortunately, it's OOP on Amazon and unavailable on YouTube and Spotify :( Do you know Hanson's own recording of his 3rd on Mercury? I haven't heard it yet myself.

As much as I like Schwarz’s Hanson (and I do like it a good deal), Hanson’s own conducted performances are where it’s at and they have that wonderful Mercury Living Presence sound, which I have always been a fan of.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 16, 2017, 08:42:47 AM
I'm generally not a huge fan of historical recordings (due to sound quality), but I'd love to hear this. Unfortunately, it's OOP on Amazon and unavailable on YouTube and Spotify :( Do you know Hanson's own recording of his 3rd on Mercury? I haven't heard it yet myself.
The Dutton release of the Koussevitsky version of Symphony 3 was wonderful as it had been re-mastered more effectively than earlier incarnations. Sadly it was ridiculously priced on Amazon when I last looked. Maybe I should sell my version for £1000,000 and retire to the Seychelles!  8)

I have all of Hanson's Mercury recordings and agree with John about their excellence. For some reason Hanson's fine (IMHO) version of Symphony 4 'Requiem' was never given an official CD release.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 16, 2017, 08:45:52 AM
I was reading through this thread and came across comments which stated that while Schwarz's Hanson cycle is beautifully played and recorded, it lacks forward motion and a sense of architecture that is so vital to Hanson's music - I totally agree. Schwarz captures Hanson's lush, Romantic side very well - which is great - but rather misses out on the elemental, Sibelian power of his music. I compared the Schwarz and Kunzel (Telarc) recordings of the 2nd Symphony and the differences are readily apparent. Kunzel gives a sweeping, dramatic performance that never loses sight of the work's romantic essence, while Schwarz seems rather lethargic and over-indulgent by comparison.

So, in summary, Schwarz's Hanson cycle is certainly a great achievement, but should not be considered the last word on these works. There's more substance to be found under the surface of Hanson's lushly orchestrated, melodic music than Schwarz uncovers IMO. It's high time someone records a new Hanson cycle, but I'm not betting on it anytime soon. Then again, we have two Atterberg cycles, so all hope is not lost ;D If only Bernstein would've taken interest in Hanson's music...

P.S. We even more desperately need a complete cycle of Diamond's symphonies! It's a real pity that Schwarz and Naxos seem to have abandoned their Diamond series. A new Piston cycle would sure be nice, too!
I must revisit the Kunzel CD - it is really good and features the only recording of the entirely characteristic 'Bold Island Suite'.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on November 16, 2017, 09:46:51 AM
Thanks for the feedback, John and Jeffrey. I'll be sure to investigate Hanson's Mercury recordings of his own music (I've already heard his recording of the 2nd Symphony). A shame that his recording of the 4th isn't available on CD, and I guess he never got around to recording his final three symphonies.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on November 16, 2017, 09:52:58 AM
I must revisit the Kunzel CD - it is really good and features the only recording of the entirely characteristic 'Bold Island Suite'.

It's a fantastic CD, Jeffrey - probably the best Hanson CD out there and an ideal introduction to the composer. Kunzel's recording of the 2nd Symphony is the finest I know. The couplings are great too - I love the Merry Mount Suite with its dark opening that sounds like Tchaikovsky on steroids and its ultra-passionate Love Duet. The Bold Island Suite may generally lack the broad, sweeping melodies I normally associate with Hanson, but is an atmospheric and enjoyable work all the same. It's a real pity Kunzel didn't record more Hanson...
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 16, 2017, 10:38:46 AM
It's a fantastic CD, Jeffrey - probably the best Hanson CD out there and an ideal introduction to the composer. Kunzel's recording of the 2nd Symphony is the finest I know. The couplings are great too - I love the Merry Mount Suite with its dark opening that sounds like Tchaikovsky on steroids and its ultra-passionate Love Duet. The Bold Island Suite may generally lack the broad, sweeping melodies I normally associate with Hanson, but is an atmospheric and enjoyable work all the same. It's a real pity Kunzel didn't record more Hanson...
Totally agree with you Kyle. I did manage to track down a CD copy of Hanson conducting his Fourth Symphony although this was from an unofficial private company which no longer seems to exist.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on November 16, 2017, 10:04:24 PM
According to the formerly-active Colin (Dundonnell's) catalogue of Hanson's orchestral music, there are a number of orchestral and choral/orchestral works of his which remain unrecorded that I'd very much like to hear:

1916: Symphonic Prelude for orchestra, op.6
1917: Symphonic Legend for orchestra, op.8
1919: Symphonic Rhapsody for orchestra, op.14
          Prelude and Ballet “The Forest Play”, op.16
1920: Symphonic Poem “Before the Dawn”, op.17
          Symphonic Poem “Exaltation” with piano obbligato, op.20
1923: Symphonic Poem “North and West”, op.22
1927: “Heroic Elegy” for chorus and orchestra, op.28
1935: Songs from “Drum Taps” for baritone, chorus and orchestra, op.32
1949: The Cherubic Hymn for chorus and orchestra, op. 37
1953: “How Excellent Thy Name” for chorus and orchestra
1963: Song of Human Rights for chorus and orchestra, op.49
1965: Psalm 150 “Praise Ye The Lord” for chorus and orchestra
1968: Psalm CXXI for baritone, chorus and orchestra
1969: “Streams in the Desert” for chorus and orchestra
1976: Oratorio “New Land, New Covenant” for soprano, bass, narrator, chorus and orchestra
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: kyjo on November 18, 2017, 02:37:48 PM
Was just listening to Hanson's early tone poem Pan and Priest from the Nashville SO/Schermerhorn recording on Naxos and enjoyed it greatly. It's an atmospheric (if rather episodic) piece that contains effective use of the orchestral piano. I detected the influence of Respighi in places.
Title: Re: Howard Hanson (1896-1981)
Post by: vandermolen on November 23, 2017, 10:58:29 AM
Was just listening to Hanson's early tone poem Pan and Priest from the Nashville SO/Schermerhorn recording on Naxos and enjoyed it greatly. It's an atmospheric (if rather episodic) piece that contains effective use of the orchestral piano. I detected the influence of Respighi in places.
Delighted the you enjoyed it Kyle. Yes, that is one of the great Hanson CDs. A pity that Kenneth Schemerhorn did not record more Hanson.