_Composers – Hovhaness

Hovhaness / Mysterious Mountain / Reiner

More of the music of Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000)

More of the music of Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

  • Boasting two stunning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) Living Stereo sides, this vintage Shaded Dog pressing is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • Tons of energy, loads of rich detail and texture, superb transparency and excellent clarity – the very definition of Demo Disc sound
  • This record will have you asking why so few Living Stereo pressings actually do what this one does.
  • The more critical listeners among you will recognize that this is a very special copy indeed. Everyone else will just enjoy the hell out of it.
  • We’ve reviewed most of the famous recordings Fritz Reiner did for RCA, and those reviews can be found here
  • With the advent of the stereo LP, RCA produced a large number of album titles using the wonderful Living Stereo banner across the top of the jacket. The link above will take you to titles either recorded or released in 1958.


Hovhaness / Giannini – Sym. No. 4 / Sym. No. 3 / EWO

More Mercury Label Classical Recordings

More Classical and Orchestral Recordings

  • An original Maroon Label Mercury pressing of these enchanting symphonies for winds boasting incredible Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades throughout – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Both of these sides are big, clear and lively, with no trace of smear, and clearly reproduced harmonics on every instrument – a Demo Disc to be sure
  • The woodwinds are so rich and natural, with none of the “nasally” quality one hears on so many Mercury records
  • The brass at the end of the record are full-bodied and smooth in the best tradition of vintage analog

These symphonies for winds are an audiophile delight. Mercury is famous for their wind band recordings and this is clearly one of their best.

The idea of a symphony performed only by wind instruments (with added harp and percussion) is novel, to me anyway, and I found the music nothing short of enchanting. One of the first wind recordings I fell in love with decades and decades ago was British Band Classics on Mercury with the EWO under Fennell. Whenever a copy comes in I play it and fall in love with it all over again. You may feel the same about this very record.

I’ve been a fan of the Hovhaness piece here for many years. Finding enough clean copies with which to do a shootout took a very long time, but eventually we had enough and this copy was doing more of what we wanted than practically all others we played.