Gallery: Early Discs
William Masselos plays Hovhaness: MGM E3160 (1955)

During the 1950s MGM's series of contemporary music discs, managed by Edward Cole, included several Hovhaness releases which contributed greatly to his visibility on the music scene. Other than Maro Ajemian, pianist William Masselos was an early exponent of Hovhaness' piano music. On this 1955 disc he made several Hovhaness premiere recordings, of which the longest was his bold Khaldis concerto for piano, 4 trumpets and percussion. The B-side showcased Hovhaness' experimental but convincing piano works of the early 1950s, such as Jhala, one of several which calls for plucking or rippling of strings. The structure of Orbit No.2, another featured piece, is very unusual for the time in that the musical writing was governed in part by planetary movements, according to the sleeve notes.