Alan Hovhaness (who incidentially passed away just a few weeks ago as of this writing) is somewhat obscure, but I believe that he will someday be recognized as one of the twentieth century's greatest composers. Forsaking the atonalism that dominated his era, Hovhaness drew his inspiriation from an eclectic mix of ethnic influences, and from the world of nature.
While hardly "typical" of his work, this album of harp-based music displays the Hovhaness stamp in terms of organization, structure, etc. (his style, once identified, is instantly recognizable). It's the instrumentation that makes this unique. Yolanda Kondonassis is marvelous performer who obviously holds a great deal of affection for this music.
One would expect harp music to be quiet, etherial and evocative; this recording does not disappoint. It creates a mood of quiet and mystery, suggesting images of misty forests and far-off shores, but with a depth that lifts it beyond mere new-age noodling and into the classical tradition.
At first listen, this album appears to be "background music", the kind you'd expect to hear playing in a shop of some sort. But upon closer inspection, Hovhaness' unique style and gift for counterpoint is revealed, and the music is seen for what it is: The work of a masterful composer.