Author Topic: Charles Ives  (Read 57368 times)

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Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2008, 07:05:55 PM »
I just ordered both of Hamelin's versions(!) - they both got the absolute highest reviews from Ives scholars and general reviewers too, and also I want to hear Hamelin's account of both couplings.

Joe - this isn't a case for ":-[", this is a case for ":D" - it just means that you now get to hear a whole host of new interpretations of this masterpiece that you didn't even know existed! ;D
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 07:08:45 PM by Guido »
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Joe Barron

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2008, 08:02:24 PM »
I just ordered both of Hamelin's versions(!) - they both got the absolute highest reviews from Ives scholars and general reviewers too, and also I want to hear Hamelin's account of both couplings.

Joe - this isn't a case for ":-[", this is a case for ":D" - it just means that you now get to hear a whole host of new interpretations of this masterpiece that you didn't even know existed! ;D

No, it's a case for " :-[." I am one of the greatest Ives fans on this board. I have at least six recordings of the Concord, and they all fall under "other" in a best-of list. And I've liked them all---so, apparently, I don't know what makes the best piece of my favorite composer sound good. This is a BIG  :-[.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 08:06:44 PM by Joe Barron »

Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2008, 07:02:50 AM »
Well it's only this guy's opinion too!

Quote
I am one of the greatest Ives fans on this board

Don't say that! Someone will make a list and turn it into a competition. ::)  ;D Nice to know that people share my conviction for this astonishing man's work.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 07:06:24 AM by Guido »
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Offline edward

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2008, 08:46:47 AM »
Any top recommendations for Ives' songs? I've got two CDs with about half a disc full of them (Bernas' When the Moon: two thumbs way up; Susan Graham and Aimard's Concord coupling: less convinced).

I assume the de Gaetani/Kalish is a no-brainer--how is the ongoing Finlay/Drake series on Hyperion?
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
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lukeottevanger

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2008, 09:20:51 AM »
FWIW I agree entirley with those who have proposed that the Concord Sonata is one piece where multiple recordings is almost a must. I'm not in general a multiple recordings guy, so for me the number of Concords I have is unusual, though nothing compared to many of you guys - in my case, Aimard, Mayer, Mendel, Lubimov and Lumsden (the latter, on LP, very obscure but rather good, I think). Again FWIW, I like Lubimov particularly, but they all have their own peculiarities, which is rather the point. Needless to say, I think this piece is an absolutely essential work, my favourite Ives piece and one of my favourite pieces of music in general.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2008, 09:30:47 AM »
Any top recommendations for Ives' songs? I've got two CDs with about half a disc full of them (Bernas' When the Moon: two thumbs way up; Susan Graham and Aimard's Concord coupling: less convinced).

I assume the de Gaetani/Kalish is a no-brainer--how is the ongoing Finlay/Drake series on Hyperion?

The first one, A Song For Anything, is not only one of my favorite Ives recordings but one of my favorite recital CDs, period.  Gerald Finley is really winning in many of these, and Julius Drake is every bit his match.  I see the second volume will be out very soon, and I'm hoping it will be similar.

--Bruce
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Joe Barron

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2008, 10:00:25 AM »
I own the complete, four-volume set of Ives' songs on the Albany label, and I recommend it. The third and fourth volumes, which include the later, mature songs, are particularly fine. Instead of one singer, there are four soprano Dana Ohrenstein, tenor Paul Sperry, contralto Mary Ann Hart, baritone William Sharp each with his or her own accompanist, who sing different numbers. Having four voices prevents the tedium of sameness from setting in and allows some surpising choices. Something you'd expect to be sung by a soprano is done by a baritone, for example, and vice versa, but it all works. And the singers are obviously devoted to the repertoire. I prefer the set to deGaetani's recording.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 10:45:26 AM by Joe Barron »

lukeottevanger

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2008, 10:04:42 AM »
Yes, I have some of this set, and I second it too - very fine indeed, and as Joe says, with the multiple singers/pianists bringing all sorts of benefits.

Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2008, 03:50:43 PM »
Another vote for this set - great stuff.

Though I wholeheartedly recommend the Albany set, for me Gaetani/Kalish are absolutely supreme in their recording - Everything is perfect, and it has not quite been matched by anyone since it's release. It's mostly the more overtly beautiful/sentimental songs, rather than the experimental ones, but as I say it's perfection.
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Joe Barron

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2008, 10:26:30 AM »
Another vote for this set - great stuff.

Though I wholeheartedly recommend the Albany set, for me Gaetani/Kalish are absolutely supreme in their recording - Everything is perfect, and it has not quite been matched by anyone since it's release. It's mostly the more overtly beautiful/sentimental songs, rather than the experimental ones, but as I say it's perfection.

Andrew Porter used to criticize DeGaetani for her lack of diction, though, and I can see what he means.

As for the Concord: I started looking for some of the recordings mentioned on the Web page, and it's no wonder I don't already have them. Most of them are out of print. Guess I'll have to stick with Kirkpatrick, Hamelin, and Kalish.

And Aimard.

And Deutsch.

And Henck.

And Mayer.

And Mandel.

 0:)

Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2008, 12:37:34 PM »
I really want to hear Joanna MacGreggor's account of the first sonata which I think is another one of the great American piano Sonatas (Along with Carter's, Barber's and Copland's), and would be more recognised were it not for the even greater second.
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Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #51 on: February 06, 2008, 05:45:25 PM »
Quote
The songs: I know them all fairly wel, and like a lot of individual performances, but I have never been wholly convinced by any particular collection. There are always a few songs on each that work well, but so many are undermined by the "proper vocal production" that comes with the kind of training necessary to negotiate the notes. I wish there were a singer X, where X to Ives as Lotte Lenya is to Kurt Weill (X≠Cleo Laine)'

Agreed!
Geologist.

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Joe Barron

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2008, 11:33:05 AM »
I wish there were a singer X, where X to Ives as Lotte Lenya is to Kurt Weill (X≠Cleo Laine)'

That was probabky Mary Bell, who unfirutnately has not oeft any recordings. I'd  say Susan Narucki has come close. Adrienne Albert's performances are magic, though she recorded only a few of the songs, and they have not been rereleased on CD. Thank you, Sony.

Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2008, 07:14:48 PM »
I seem to remember some quote from Ruggles to the effect that even if Ives had just composed one song - General William Booth Enters into Heaven - he would have been a great composer. Having just listened to it, and then immeditely twice more, I tend to agree. ;D
Geologist.

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Joe Barron

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2008, 09:09:37 AM »
The first one, A Song For Anything, is not only one of my favorite Ives recordings but one of my favorite recital CDs, period.  Gerald Finley is really winning in many of these, and Julius Drake is every bit his match.  I see the second volume will be out very soon, and I'm hoping it will be similar.

--Bruce

On Bruce's suggestion, I purchased this CD from Amazon. It is everything he says it is. Finley has a warm voice and precise diction, and Drake's accompaniment is more forward and, well, louder, than  than I am used to. The effect of the piano playing is sculptural. Tempos are more moderate than in other recordings, which works well. As I said to Bruce privately, in the Housatonic at Stockbridge, the music seems to strain against the leash the performers place on it, and the climax, when it arrives, is more powerful for it.

I have also picked up the second volume, Romanzo di Central Park, and though I've listened only to selections, I can say it adheres to the standard of the first set. These two CDs seem heavy on the very early songs, though some of the late masterpieces, like the Last Reader and Ann Street, are here as well. Some of my favorites, like Walt Whitman and From Paracelsus, are missing, though, and I'm hoping Finley and Drake go on to record the entire catalog.  I like that they are not presenting the songs in chronological order. It makes for some interesting juxtapositions and allows one to understand the continuity in Ives' work. It's like a real recital, rather than a collection.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2008, 10:43:52 AM »
So happy you like it, Joe, and I can't wait to hear Vol. II, which I haven't gotten around to buying yet.  Finley has one of the most sheerly beautiful timbres I've encountered in awhile, and when coupled with his imagination and expressive skills, he gets great results.  And of course now that Stuart Drake is on my radar, I notice that he plays with all sorts of excellent singers--no surprise.

Wonder if they're planning to do any Carter!  :D

--Bruce
Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
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Twitter: @brucehodgesny

Joe Barron

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2008, 11:03:42 AM »
Wonder if they're planning to do any Carter!  :D

--Bruce

I don't know that Carter has written any songs for baritone and piano, though the three early Frost songs might be transposable. The closest Finley could get, I think, is Syringa.

Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2008, 07:52:42 PM »
The three Orchestral sets are set for release in May! Sinclair assured me that Ives fans are in for a treat with the new 3rd set, even if isn't quite echt Ives. He also was sceptical about the quality of all available versions of the second set so hopes to rectify that situation with this recording. The first set is Ives' first version, which has never before been recorded. Apparently he has also recorded another CD for Naxos with one or two other never before heard Ives goodies.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 07:56:52 PM by Guido »
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Offline MDL

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2008, 01:42:26 AM »
I've got the Ozawa/BSO and Dohnanyi/CO recordings of the 4th Symphony and although I like them both, especially the Dohnanyi, I sometimes wonder if I should also invest in Tilson Thomas's CSO recording, which seems to be the most highly rated. Am I missing anything?

Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #59 on: April 23, 2008, 05:49:57 AM »
In my opinion, MTT is the best version of the 4th available on CD, though, as with any masterpiece of this stature, no one recording or performance holds all its secrets. Overall though, I think MTT best captures the feeling of the Symphony - the questioning first movement, choatic and dazzling second, noble and beautiful third, and visonary fourth movement. He really is the Ives man as far as I am concerned, especially in the later orchestral works. I'm sure others will have opinions on this too.
Geologist.

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