Gallery: Early Discs
Mysterious Mountain: RCA Victor LSC-225 (1958)

This recording of Mysterious Mountain remains the most celebrated of all Hovhaness recordings, with the legendary Fritz Reiner conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in April 1958. It was coupled with Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss, but the new American symphony of Hovhaness got the A-side. Hovhaness found out about this recording only when he stumbled across the disc in a record store.

This is a lush and spirited performance, where Reiner takes certain liberties with the score, but pulls it off magnificently. The 2nd movement's tornado-like second fugue is an orchestration of a movement from the composer's 1936 String Quartet No.1. Several CD recordings have followed since the 1990s.