Author Topic: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review  (Read 15071 times)

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Offline aquablob

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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #80 on: August 05, 2014, 09:44:35 AM »
I think in re: Carter's view of Ives, it's very difficult to know exactly how to regard his published utterances.

Clearly he had a very ambivalent relationship with Ives' music, but Carter's late period suggests some kind of reconciliation (for example the second Figment, "Remembering Mr. Ives", or the post-Unanswered Question trumpet writing in Adagio tenebroso.

There's a curious parallel here with John Adams' view of Carter's music. Once openly contemptuous of it (perhaps protesting too much?), more recently he's conducted Carter's Variations for Orchestra alongside his own works.

Anxiety of influence?

Did Adams change his tune a bit after Carter's death? Wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened. Beethoven and Haydn come to mind.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #81 on: August 05, 2014, 11:57:47 AM »
Case 1. Ives writes innovative music, is ignored, but persists.
Case 2. Ives writes fairly conventional music with a few oddities, is ignored, fakes changes retroactively to anticipate the innovations of others and claim them for himself.

In brief, I imagine the truth is a more nuanced version of Case .
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Offline Cato

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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #82 on: August 05, 2014, 01:38:42 PM »
Case 1. Ives writes innovative music, is ignored, but persists.
Case 2. Ives writes fairly conventional music with a few oddities, is ignored, fakes changes retroactively to anticipate the innovations of others and claim them for himself.

????????????????????

And so, let's start being specific with evidence: which innovation by another composer has Ives "faked," in which composition does it appear, and when did he "fake" it?  For such a claim, one would need at the least to examine the various manuscripts involved for variations in penmanship, and test the ink(s) used along with the music paper. 

Check the article I cited earlier.

And again, I will emphasize that even if Ives did go back to an early composition to insert a technique by somebody else, why is that fakery?  Where and when did Ives claim a proprietary interest in e.g. quarter-tone techniques, or tone-clusters, or whatever?

Henry Cowell e.g. invented the term "tone clusters," and as far as I know Ives never sued him for using the technique and never claimed to have invented the term.



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Offline EigenUser

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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #83 on: August 05, 2014, 03:03:26 PM »
????????????????????

And so, let's start being specific with evidence: which innovation by another composer has Ives "faked," in which composition does it appear, and when did he "fake" it?  For such a claim, one would need at the least to examine the various manuscripts involved for variations in penmanship, and test the ink(s) used along with the music paper. 

Check the article I cited earlier.

And again, I will emphasize that even if Ives did go back to an early composition to insert a technique by somebody else, why is that fakery?  Where and when did Ives claim a proprietary interest in e.g. quarter-tone techniques, or tone-clusters, or whatever?

Henry Cowell e.g. invented the term "tone clusters," and as far as I know Ives never sued him for using the technique and never claimed to have invented the term.
I do know that he did this with the loud cluster-chord ending of the 2nd symphony, which he added later.

...but, who cares when he added what? It's great music!

(I'm not a really big fan of Ives, but I definitely do like him reasonably well.)
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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #84 on: August 05, 2014, 04:51:28 PM »
????????????????????

And so, let's start being specific with evidence: which innovation by another composer has Ives "faked," in which composition does it appear, and when did he "fake" it?  For such a claim, one would need at the least to examine the various manuscripts involved for variations in penmanship, and test the ink(s) used along with the music paper. 

Check the article I cited earlier.

And again, I will emphasize that even if Ives did go back to an early composition to insert a technique by somebody else, why is that fakery?  Where and when did Ives claim a proprietary interest in e.g. quarter-tone techniques, or tone-clusters, or whatever?

Henry Cowell e.g. invented the term "tone clusters," and as far as I know Ives never sued him for using the technique and never claimed to have invented the term.
Have you lost the thread of conditionals Cato?

Cato: quotation from AS full of praise for Ives about indifference to fame and great innovation
Me: yeah but that praise is based on tales of originality that some say are faked
Karl: how would it matter if they were faked?
Me: because then Ives would be Hatto. Pretending he anticipated (Latin!) the other composer and building his fame on that. He would be neither indifferent to fame nor an innovator. AS's praise would not apply.

The truth of the charge is irrelevant to the question Karl asked and I answered.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #85 on: August 05, 2014, 04:53:16 PM »
I do know that he did this with the loud cluster-chord ending of the 2nd symphony, which he added later.

...but, who cares when he added what? It's great music!

Yeah exactly. I don't see the point of this argument. Unless he plagiarized chunks of music from other composers, who cares?
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Offline Cato

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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #86 on: August 05, 2014, 06:11:04 PM »
Have you lost the thread of conditionals Cato?

Cato: quotation from AS full of praise for Ives about indifference to fame and great innovation
Me: yeah but that praise is based on tales of originality that some say are faked


No subjunctives in that sentence.


...but, who cares when he added what? It's great music!

(I'm not a really big fan of Ives, but I definitely do like him reasonably well.)

Yeah exactly. I don't see the point of this argument. Unless he plagiarized chunks of music from other composers, who cares?

Amen!
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Offline amw

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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #87 on: August 05, 2014, 06:59:38 PM »
I just finished the whole thread. I might be the only member of GMG to feel this way, but I kinda like Josquin des Prez (the GMG one.)

You also like the music of Michael Nyman so that's no surprise. I look forward to your inevitable pronouncements of the dryness of water and coldness of the sun in due course. 8)

I don't think Ives's innovations have anything to do with quarter-tones, or dissonances or rhythmic inventions, regardless of at what point in the compositional process they were added; but rather new conceptions of form and structure (e.g. the two piano sonatas), juxtaposition of genres and high/low art, and a new approach to orchestration—all three of which are based upon principles of layering, piling material on top of or within a basic structure. This is similar to the procedures of Mahler and Debussy among others but unlike them Ives made no attempt to integrate his materials into any kind of personal language. Scraps of ragtime and popular song rub shoulders with thick, dissonant textures that act like a heightened version of Lisztian bravura and a vein of spiritual "purity" along the lines of Dvorak and MacDowell (in their more pastoral moments), along with Ives's own love of pitting many lines of incompatible counterpoint against one another. This can make his music problematic—there are a number of miscalculations in his larger works which reduce their effectiveness IMO—but exciting when done well, as the lines come together into a larger conception of the whole, etc, etc.

Ives is one of my hobby-horses to some extent... along with Enescu and Skalkottas and Medtner... (I cannot yet call myself a Myaskovsky fan as my knowledge currently measures only about 0.3 vandermolens...) but it's hard for me to explain what appeals to me about his music in language that's clear and comprehensible, for whatever reason. Suggest Kyle Gann's book on the Concord Sonata, when it comes out. That'll probably be easier to understand than anything I could say.

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Re: "Charles Ives Reconsidered": A book review
« Reply #88 on: August 05, 2014, 07:50:06 PM »
You also like the music of Michael Nyman so that's no surprise. I look forward to your inevitable pronouncements of the dryness of water and coldness of the sun in due course. 8)

I don't think Ives's innovations have anything to do with quarter-tones, or dissonances or rhythmic inventions, regardless of at what point in the compositional process they were added; but rather new conceptions of form and structure (e.g. the two piano sonatas), juxtaposition of genres and high/low art, and a new approach to orchestration—all three of which are based upon principles of layering, piling material on top of or within a basic structure. This is similar to the procedures of Mahler and Debussy among others but unlike them Ives made no attempt to integrate his materials into any kind of personal language. Scraps of ragtime and popular song rub shoulders with thick, dissonant textures that act like a heightened version of Lisztian bravura and a vein of spiritual "purity" along the lines of Dvorak and MacDowell (in their more pastoral moments), along with Ives's own love of pitting many lines of incompatible counterpoint against one another. This can make his music problematic—there are a number of miscalculations in his larger works which reduce their effectiveness IMO—but exciting when done well, as the lines come together into a larger conception of the whole, etc, etc.

Ives is one of my hobby-horses to some extent... along with Enescu and Skalkottas and Medtner... (I cannot yet call myself a Myaskovsky fan as my knowledge currently measures only about 0.3 vandermolens...) but it's hard for me to explain what appeals to me about his music in language that's clear and comprehensible, for whatever reason. Suggest Kyle Gann's book on the Concord Sonata, when it comes out. That'll probably be easier to understand than anything I could say.

Team Nyman is on the case http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7964109/Scientists-create-dry-water.html.