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Author Topic: Charles Ives  (Read 34432 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #300 on: July 26, 2011, 04:32:33 AM »
Nice to have such a mainstream artist recording this rep.

And, the experience with the rep may expand the artist.  I think there's everything to gain.

Quote from: Guido
Might even get it! The four violin sonatas are hardly my favourite Ives (some of the few works of his that I don't adore), but I owe them a fresh look.

I'll probably spring for 'em; I don't know those sonatas at all . . . .

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #301 on: March 06, 2012, 09:13:51 AM »
Symphonies 2-3

I pulled these out just to see how conservative they are. They are! ::)

No.2 (Bernstein/DG), in five movements, sounds almost like how I'd want my perfect Victorian symphony to go. Perhaps I think it reminds me of Elgar, but not the that degree. I don't know, maybe your words about this music will make me like it more?

As I'm listening to No.3 (Marriner/Argo), I'm completely underwhelmed by the sheer normalcy of the music. It's nice and semi-pastoral, but that's about it. Had all Ives sounded like these two beasts, he would have been relegated to the Chadwick/Mason/Foote (re: quaint & boring)corner of the room. What do you think?

Both pieces are over. I feel compelled to listen to them further, on academic grounds, but don't feel the need anymore. Perhaps this is where boring Cowell comes from?

Don't get me wrong,... nice music. Nice.
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Online karlhenning

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #302 on: March 06, 2012, 10:01:48 AM »
Interesting! On my own recent-ish revisitation of the symphonies, I found myself much better affectioned towards them.
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Offline Leo K.

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #303 on: March 06, 2012, 10:14:42 AM »
Symphonies 2-3

I pulled these out just to see how conservative they are. They are! ::)

No.2 (Bernstein/DG), in five movements, sounds almost like how I'd want my perfect Victorian symphony to go. Perhaps I think it reminds me of Elgar, but not the that degree. I don't know, maybe your words about this music will make me like it more?

As I'm listening to No.3 (Marriner/Argo), I'm completely underwhelmed by the sheer normalcy of the music. It's nice and semi-pastoral, but that's about it. Had all Ives sounded like these two beasts, he would have been relegated to the Chadwick/Mason/Foote (re: quaint & boring)corner of the room. What do you think?

Both pieces are over. I feel compelled to listen to them further, on academic grounds, but don't feel the need anymore. Perhaps this is where boring Cowell comes from?

Don't get me wrong,... nice music. Nice.

This may sound strange coming from a dyed in the whool Ives fan, but his 2nd symphony has (after many years of studying his music) become my favorite work from Ives. I love his 1st symphony too, even better than his 3rd and 4th.

For my taste, of the most successful recordings of the Ives 2nd is Kenneth Schermerhorn's account on Naxos:



This recording uses the critical edition, prepared by Jonathan Elkus of the Charles Ives Society, which corrects about 1,000 manuscript errors that have been repeated in recordings (and performances) dating back at least as early as Bernstein's late-'50's New York Philharmonic Orchestra recording on Columbia.

Errors or not, that is not my deciding factor in deciding on a performance, it's the end result that counts and I love what Schermerhorn has done with the 2nd. Absolutely tamer than Bernstein's account, but not as slick either.

My own personal favorite is Harold Farberman's old account, which I have on LP and (out of print) CD. This recording has something special I can't explain.



I like how you described the 2nd as your perfect Victorian symphony, as that is exactly what I feel about it, and how Schermerhorn and Farberman play this work. I have a suspicion that the "Victorian" nostalgia-feeling is Ives' true self, and that his 1st, 2nd, and (perhaps to a lesser degree) his 3rd are signs of his deepest self. His more experimental work appears to be a reaction to this side of him, brought on one by life's blows and experiences. In the end, we'll never know, but interesting to ponder.










« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 10:18:23 AM by Leo K »
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Online karlhenning

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #304 on: March 06, 2012, 10:17:36 AM »
I've heard those Schermerhorn recordings on Naxos well spoken of . . . but it was at a time when I was sure (mistaken, but sure) that I was not interested in the Ives symphonies.  Now that Litton has illumined the set for me, I should likely check out the Schermerhorn . . . .
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Offline Leo K.

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #305 on: March 06, 2012, 10:19:41 AM »
I've heard those Schermerhorn recordings on Naxos well spoken of . . . but it was at a time when I was sure (mistaken, but sure) that I was not interested in the Ives symphonies.  Now that Litton has illumined the set for me, I should likely check out the Schermerhorn . . . .

And I should finally listen to the Litton recordings!
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #306 on: March 07, 2012, 07:49:44 AM »
I like how you described the 2nd as your perfect Victorian symphony, as that is exactly what I feel about it, and how Schermerhorn and Farberman play this work. I have a suspicion that the "Victorian" nostalgia-feeling is Ives' true self, and that his 1st, 2nd, and (perhaps to a lesser degree) his 3rd are signs of his deepest self. His more experimental work appears to be a reaction to this side of him, brought on one by life's blows and experiences. In the end, we'll never know, but interesting to ponder.

Hmm, very interesting suspicion.

I mean, I like No.2 just fine,... it would probably be my favorite work had it been written by Pettersson! ;)
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Offline Guido

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #307 on: March 09, 2012, 09:31:57 AM »
Symphonies 2-3

I pulled these out just to see how conservative they are. They are! ::)

No.2 (Bernstein/DG), in five movements, sounds almost like how I'd want my perfect Victorian symphony to go. Perhaps I think it reminds me of Elgar, but not the that degree. I don't know, maybe your words about this music will make me like it more?

As I'm listening to No.3 (Marriner/Argo), I'm completely underwhelmed by the sheer normalcy of the music. It's nice and semi-pastoral, but that's about it. Had all Ives sounded like these two beasts, he would have been relegated to the Chadwick/Mason/Foote (re: quaint & boring)corner of the room. What do you think?

Both pieces are over. I feel compelled to listen to them further, on academic grounds, but don't feel the need anymore. Perhaps this is where boring Cowell comes from?

Don't get me wrong,... nice music. Nice.

I have to say that I completely disagree here. Look at the dates that they were written. And the country. This is Copland 30 years before the fact (and more authentic too, for the most part!) - the most advanced thing symphonically was Brahms and Dvorak at that point in that culture* - these pieces are WILD in comparison, even if they are gentle in terms of their surface compared to other Ives. So many innovations, really!

I also disagree that this is the deepest Ives - for me, that honour goes to the Fourth Symphony, the Three Pieces from New England, The Concord Sonata and the later songs - these are the pieces that integrate the nostalgia with the modernism more masterfully than he did anywhere else. And the nostalgia is most effective and most heartfelt when its dressed in the quasi mystical tone of these late works - nothing in those early works aches like the shimmering strangeness, the fleeting phantasmagorias of ideas and memories that constitute the most moving passages of these later works.

*(remember Mahler was hardly played at that point. Interesting to note the similarities with Ives actually...)
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #308 on: March 09, 2012, 10:33:13 AM »
I pulled these out just to see how conservative they are. They are! ::)

As I'm listening to No.3 (Marriner/Argo), I'm completely underwhelmed by the sheer normalcy of the music. It's nice and semi-pastoral, but that's about it. Had all Ives sounded like these two beasts, he would have been relegated to the Chadwick/Mason/Foote (re: quaint & boring)corner of the room. What do you think?

Normalcy compared to what? Or who?  ;D  the tempi may be more calm and the dynamics subdued compared to some other of Ives' music, but I find the level of complexity and musical inventiveness to be as equal as his other works, just with a different atmosphere.



For my taste, of the most successful recordings of the Ives 2nd is Kenneth Schermerhorn's account on Naxos:





I agree with this recommendation, Leo,  ;D


Offline snyprrr

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #309 on: March 09, 2012, 11:00:54 AM »
Normalcy compared to what? Or who?  ;D  the tempi may be more calm and the dynamics subdued compared to some other of Ives' music, but I find the level of complexity and musical inventiveness to be as equal as his other works, just with a different atmosphere.




I agree with this recommendation, Leo,  ;D

I listened again to 2-3 yesterday. Perhaps the weather? Perhaps the mood? No.2 hit me perfectly, and I could sense that an even more loving performance/recording (I have Bernstein DG) would make me like it even more. I find it very 'Southern Gothic', or just a touch creepy, and picture some kind of... perhaps Chickamunga? (is that right?) It's very big boned piece, for sure!

No.3 certainly has some exotic harmonic shifting in the first movement.

Yes, I just had to be in the mood. :-[ ::) ;D
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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #310 on: March 09, 2012, 11:01:44 AM »
Well, he was from Down South (Connecticut).
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #311 on: March 09, 2012, 11:02:32 AM »
Well, he was from Down South (Connecticut).

 :D :D :D
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #312 on: March 09, 2012, 11:09:18 AM »
No.2 hit me perfectly, and I could sense that an even more loving performance/recording (I have Bernstein DG) would make me like it even more.


Kenneth Schermerhorn's on Naxos might do the trick. I also have the Bernstein/DG and it's bombastic, NYPhil brass is a beast, exciting for sure though.

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #313 on: March 09, 2012, 11:17:20 AM »
All of this talk of Ives is getting me in the mood yet again...
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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #314 on: March 09, 2012, 11:18:20 AM »
All of this talk of Ives is getting me in the mood yet again...


Do it, John!  ;D

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #315 on: March 09, 2012, 11:43:19 AM »

Do it, John!  ;D

I probably will later, Greg. Right now, I'm engaged in some lovely tango music from Piazzolla. 8)
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #316 on: March 09, 2012, 12:22:29 PM »
I probably will later, Greg. Right now, I'm engaged in some lovely tango music from Piazzolla. 8)

Oh my, won't argue with that.  ;D

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #317 on: March 09, 2012, 12:23:29 PM »
Oh my, won't argue with that.  ;D

Well now I'm engaged in some Stravinsky. :)
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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #318 on: March 09, 2012, 01:59:22 PM »
Three Places in New England (MTT DG)

Dud ::), why did it take me so long to pull these out? Sounds like Xenakis to me in places. This stuff is just the most startlingly explosive music ever! And then, the typical Ivesian mystery (always twinkling stars on the piano) and those Gothic, brooding and ominous bass motifs. It was perfect driving music! 8)

I hear some of Roy Harris in the brooding dissonances, and there's Ruggles,... these Americans seemed to take the received Brahmsian tradition and drench it in the decomposing creepiness of the American Victorian decomposition, no?

These pieces ARE Avant-Garde!!!
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #319 on: March 10, 2012, 04:45:01 AM »
And the nostalgia is most effective and most heartfelt when its dressed in the quasi mystical tone of these late works

The nostalgic aspects of Ives' music work equally well for me in both the late and early works. I agree with you about Three Places in New England (the quasi mystical). But the Second Symphony (based on the popular tunes, patriotic songs and hymns of Ives's youth) is, if more blatant in its nostalgia, no less effective...for me, anyway. I wonder, though, if a non-American listener like yourself gets the extramusical associations of the music? One of the most heartfelt moments in the Second occurs shortly before the Finale's ultimate explosion: a solo cello plays a theme based on "Old Black Joe" and "Massa's in de Cold Ground" while the flute plays a countermelody based on "Long Long Ago" and "Turkey in the Straw" (I hear "Bringing in the Sheaves" too). This bit is heard earlier in the movement also with the horn taking the lead. Recalling the lyrics of those songs, and the association of those songs with my own youth, certainly intensifies the nostalgic experience.

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« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 05:28:45 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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