There’s still a lot of music by Alan Hovhaness yet to be recorded. With over 450 works in his catalog, there’s plenty to choose from — and many opportunities for world premiere recordings. This particular installment of Hovhaness’ wind music has four.

Hovhaness’ style was fairly consistent throughout his career. I can always count on meandering melodies, modal harmonies, complex fugal passages, and gorgeous hymn tunes.

Though the works in this release span four decades, all of those elements are there. But to me, they’re what makes Hovhaness’ music uniquely appealing.

The Central Washington Universty Wind Ensemble perform with accuracy and rock-solid precision. Often collegiate wind ensembles have some intonation problems (compared to ensembles of professional musicians). In this case, I heard none. The musicianship of these young performers served Hovhaness’ music well.

If you only know Hovhaness through his symphonies, this release should be in your library. His use of wind instruments is creative and innovative. A wonderful addition to the Hovhaness discography.

Alan Hovhaness: Suite for Band; October Mountain; The Ruins of Ani
Central Washington University Wind Ensemble
Larry Gookin, Keith Brion, Mark Goodenberger, conductors
Naxos 8.559838