Author Topic: Charles Ives  (Read 96343 times)

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #500 on: October 10, 2019, 02:47:11 AM »
I think I'm finally beginning to get into Ives. His music is extremely unique, and quite diverse. I don't know how he went from writing things like the calm, pastoral, "normal" 2nd symphony to The Unanswered Question and Central Park in the Dark in a matter of years, but lo and behold. I am a fan of his small orchestral pieces, like Hymn, The Gong on the Hook and Ladder, Hallowe'en, and the aforementioned Central Park and Unanswered Question. I've been listening exclusively to the Bernstein/NYPO DG disc with all these and the 2nd symphony. I see many seem to enjoy the earlier Sony recording. Is it worth checking out? I think this one sounds great. It's a late recording of Bernstein's.

I am probably also about to get a CD with Pierre-Laurent Aimard playing the Concord sonata, along with a few songs. I have not enjoyed Ives' songs in the past, but I'm willing to give them another shot.

Anyone been listening to Ives lately?

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #501 on: October 10, 2019, 03:51:01 AM »
Always do. Not often, but regularly. But I don't think I'd have ever gotten into Ives had I not heard him in concert on several occasions. It's SUCH effective music (esp. the orchestral music) for the live experience.


FYI A bit on Ives:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2017/11/08/classical-cd-of-the-week-alexei-lubimov-supreme-in-ives-webern-berg/


https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/03/30/classical-cd-of-the-week-charles-ives-down-under/


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-profound-existentialism-of-charles.html


https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/08/notes-from-2013-salzburg-festival-7.html Notes from the 2013 Salzburg Festival ( 7 ) Ives Got Something to Remember
https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/01/schubert-schumann-ives-not-beautiful.html Schubert, Schumann, Ives: Not Beautiful, Courageous!
https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/02/musica-viva-munich-ives-american-mahler.html Ives, the American Mahler?
https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/08/notes-from-2011-salzburg-festival-15.html Notes from the 2011 Salzburg Festival ( 15 ) Chamber Concert • Beethoven, Ives
https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/08/notes-from-2011-salzburg-festival-12.html Notes from the 2011 Salzburg Festival ( 12 ) Camerata 1 • Mahler Scenes 8

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #502 on: October 11, 2019, 01:48:45 AM »
... I've been listening exclusively to the Bernstein/NYPO DG disc with all these and the 2nd symphony. I see many seem to enjoy the earlier Sony recording. Is it worth checking out? I think this one sounds great. It's a late recording of Bernstein's.

The 2nd symphony is a favourite and I have both recordings, but since acquiring the later one (DG) I do always listen to that.  I don't think the performance has changed much but the plusher DG sound seems to emphasise a Brahmsian side to the symphony.  The earlier recording - which is a good one for its time - seems more, well, American.

Here are 3 discs to consider - although I don't have any time for the 3rd symphony - but the 4th is a storming work - Morlot a modern recording, Serebrier and Stokowski 'classic' ones (I seem to recall Serebrier also assisted on the Stokowski recording, which I think was the first 4th on record and roughly contemporary with Bernstein's first recording of the 2nd).





« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 02:00:51 AM by aukhawk »

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #503 on: June 13, 2021, 02:54:37 AM »
Charles Ives
9 Church Anthems (1890-1901)
The Celestial Country
The Gregg Smith Singers
Gregg Smith




Probably only for the Charles Ives completist, as none of his experimental or modernist voice is present. That said, his writing for church choir is assured in its part writing, yet with none of his peculiar character, and some of the organ parts sound like they were drawn from an operetta. Bread of the World is the moodiest of the anthems, and Let There Be Light is the only work where Ives is in full Ives-mode.

The Celestial Country is a sacred cantata well worth hearing, although it is still drawn from a grand 19th Century Romantic idiom. Ives' Romantic voice lets loose a little though, and the chamber orchestra is fun against the organ-only accompanied church anthems.

From 2003, the Gregg Smith Singers show their age, not nearly as athletic or cohesive as their younger selves. The Celestial Country is a 70's remaster though, and it shows the GSS at their peak. Nice music without a particularly personal stamp; I would seek out Ives' Psalms for that, although I still don't think the Gregg Smith performances have made it to CD.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 04:49:03 AM by VonStupp »
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Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #504 on: January 19, 2022, 09:22:20 AM »
I'm now 46 years old and I've been listening to classical music since I was 10 - so I consider myself a seasoned listener (though I'm constantly amazed by the level of expertise and knowledge among the members here!) But there are still plenty of composers I haven't explored nearly as much as I'd like. And one of those is Charles Ives.

So, that said, what pieces would you recommend to an Ives newbie like me? I'm especially curious which of his symphonies I should start with, but I'm open to anything at all.

Thank you in advance!

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #505 on: January 19, 2022, 09:38:18 AM »
I'm now 46 years old and I've been listening to classical music since I was 10 - so I consider myself a seasoned listener (though I'm constantly amazed by the level of expertise and knowledge among the members here!) But there are still plenty of composers I haven't explored nearly as much as I'd like. And one of those is Charles Ives.

So, that said, what pieces would you recommend to an Ives newbie like me? I'm especially curious which of his symphonies I should start with, but I'm open to anything at all.

Thank you in advance!

You've certainly come to the right place, classicalgeek. :) I'd start with some shorter works like Central Park in the Dark or The Unanswered Question. Central Park in the Dark has some gnarly moments, but it will give you a good introduction to Ives' sound-world. From here, I would try Holidays Symphony and Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4. Also the chamber works like the violin sonatas and SQs are outstanding. One thing to keep in mind about Ives is he's a composer that fooled around with "musical collage" in that, at times, there are many different strands of music happening simultaneously. You'll have a march from the brass and percussion, a hymn from the strings and an old American folk song in the woodwinds, but the way he juxtaposes it all is completely singular, but when this happens it usually culminates into a climax of some kind. Anyway, happy listening!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 09:39:57 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #506 on: January 19, 2022, 09:39:10 AM »
I'm now 46 years old and I've been listening to classical music since I was 10 - so I consider myself a seasoned listener (though I'm constantly amazed by the level of expertise and knowledge among the members here!) But there are still plenty of composers I haven't explored nearly as much as I'd like. And one of those is Charles Ives.

So, that said, what pieces would you recommend to an Ives newbie like me? I'm especially curious which of his symphonies I should start with, but I'm open to anything at all.

Thank you in advance!

Hey, CG.

Start with his 1st symphony go in order through No.4 and enjoy the progression of his compositional style. Also check out his Unanswered Question and Three Places in New England.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 09:41:51 AM by TheGSMoeller »

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #507 on: January 19, 2022, 09:41:18 AM »
. Also the chamber works like the violin sonatas and SQs are outstanding.

Nice, John, these are great works! Ives also composed a bunch of songs that are worth listening to.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #508 on: January 19, 2022, 09:43:07 AM »
Nice, John, these are great works! Ives also composed a bunch of songs that are worth listening to.

Thanks, Greg, I didn't suggest the songs, because (and I don't mean to sound presumptuous) this is a genre that not many people are interested in.
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Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #509 on: January 19, 2022, 12:35:07 PM »
You've certainly come to the right place, classicalgeek. :) I'd start with some shorter works like Central Park in the Dark or The Unanswered Question. Central Park in the Dark has some gnarly moments, but it will give you a good introduction to Ives' sound-world. From here, I would try Holidays Symphony and Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4. Also the chamber works like the violin sonatas and SQs are outstanding. One thing to keep in mind about Ives is he's a composer that fooled around with "musical collage" in that, at times, there are many different strands of music happening simultaneously. You'll have a march from the brass and percussion, a hymn from the strings and an old American folk song in the woodwinds, but the way he juxtaposes it all is completely singular, but when this happens it usually culminates into a climax of some kind. Anyway, happy listening!

Yeah, I'm definitely aware of his eclecticism! He's one of those composers that has a very distinctive style, part of why I wanted to do a "deeper dive" on him.

Hey, CG.

Start with his 1st symphony go in order through No.4 and enjoy the progression of his compositional style. Also check out his Unanswered Question and Three Places in New England.

Thanks for the recommendations, John and Greg! I'll definitely start my listening with Unanswered Question, Three Places in New England, and Central Park in the Dark and then move on to the first two symphonies as well as the Holidays Symphony. From there I'll probably sample the chamber music and maybe the Concord Sonata.

Nice, John, these are great works! Ives also composed a bunch of songs that are worth listening to.

Thanks, Greg, I didn't suggest the songs, because (and I don't mean to sound presumptuous) this is a genre that not many people are interested in.

I'll probably sample the songs later on, but I'm definitely interested in hearing them!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 12:39:19 PM by classicalgeek »

Offline Brewski

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #510 on: January 19, 2022, 05:00:29 PM »

I'll probably sample the songs later on, but I'm definitely interested in hearing them!

There are plenty of recordings of the songs to explore. Jan De Gaetani's recording is a classic (sample below), and Gerald Finley has recorded two albums with pianist Julius Drake, which are excellent.

Here are a handful of individual performances that you might find intriguing. The bottom line: Voices are a very individual thing. I prefer artists who are less "operatic" in these; most of the songs seem to flourish with a simpler touch.

Like a sick eagle (Jan De Gaetani, soprano, and Gilbert Kalish, piano) - The singer moves through the phrases in quarter tones, to create the listless "sick" quality.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nc2Dq2w6tg

Ann Street (De Gaetani and Kalish) - Like the street, the song is short, scarcely 60 seconds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a30nnw1H5jA

The Children's Hour (Simon Barrad, baritone, and Joel Papinoja, piano) - A very fine recent version, with a stellar pianist, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7SGHKwZrq0

Memories (Finley and Drake) - An encore to a recital of works by other composers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKrysPSOMhQ

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Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #511 on: January 19, 2022, 05:30:40 PM »
There are plenty of recordings of the songs to explore. Jan De Gaetani's recording is a classic (sample below), and Gerald Finley has recorded two albums with pianist Julius Drake, which are excellent.

Here are a handful of individual performances that you might find intriguing. The bottom line: Voices are a very individual thing. I prefer artists who are less "operatic" in these; most of the songs seem to flourish with a simpler touch.

Like a sick eagle (Jan De Gaetani, soprano, and Gilbert Kalish, piano) - The singer moves through the phrases in quarter tones, to create the listless "sick" quality.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nc2Dq2w6tg

Ann Street (De Gaetani and Kalish) - Like the street, the song is short, scarcely 60 seconds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a30nnw1H5jA

The Children's Hour (Simon Barrad, baritone, and Joel Papinoja, piano) - A very fine recent version, with a stellar pianist, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7SGHKwZrq0

Memories (Finley and Drake) - An encore to a recital of works by other composers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKrysPSOMhQ

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Thanks, Bruce! I'll listen to these now.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #512 on: January 19, 2022, 05:47:45 PM »
Just as an aside to my previous suggestions, if you decide to listen to the Violin Sonatas, please listen to the Fulkerson/Shannon set on Bridge. It is, for me, the best recording of these works.



I own several other recordings of these VSs and none of them do it justice. Oh and avoid the Hahn/Lisitsa recording on DG. It's atrocious. Hahn is fine, but Lisitsa is hardly the right pianist for these works. Too bad Hahn didn't pick a more sympathetic partner for these works.
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Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #513 on: January 19, 2022, 05:54:27 PM »
There are plenty of recordings of the songs to explore. Jan De Gaetani's recording is a classic (sample below), and Gerald Finley has recorded two albums with pianist Julius Drake, which are excellent.

Here are a handful of individual performances that you might find intriguing. The bottom line: Voices are a very individual thing. I prefer artists who are less "operatic" in these; most of the songs seem to flourish with a simpler touch.

Like a sick eagle (Jan De Gaetani, soprano, and Gilbert Kalish, piano) - The singer moves through the phrases in quarter tones, to create the listless "sick" quality.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nc2Dq2w6tg

Ann Street (De Gaetani and Kalish) - Like the street, the song is short, scarcely 60 seconds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a30nnw1H5jA

The Children's Hour (Simon Barrad, baritone, and Joel Papinoja, piano) - A very fine recent version, with a stellar pianist, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7SGHKwZrq0

Memories (Finley and Drake) - An encore to a recital of works by other composers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKrysPSOMhQ

--Bruce

Thanks for sharing! I can tell Ives wrote a wide variety of vocal music (just as he did with instrumental music) in the four songs you shared. At times they sounded like they were by four different composers!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #514 on: January 19, 2022, 06:04:57 PM »
Thanks for sharing! I can tell Ives wrote a wide variety of vocal music (just as he did with instrumental music) in the four songs you shared. At times they sounded like they were by four different composers!

Quite true! And there are over 100 other songs, almost all worth sampling. IMHO, he would have some kind of reputation based solely on these, but of course, he wrote a lot more. Like many here, I'm probably most in love with the big orchestral works, but then you have these gems, and his chamber music.

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Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #515 on: January 19, 2022, 08:55:30 PM »
Just as an aside to my previous suggestions, if you decide to listen to the Violin Sonatas, please listen to the Fulkerson/Shannon set on Bridge. It is, for me, the best recording of these works.



I own several other recordings of these VSs and none of them do it justice. Oh and avoid the Hahn/Lisitsa recording on DG. It's atrocious. Hahn is fine, but Lisitsa is hardly the right pianist for these works. Too bad Hahn didn't pick a more sympathetic partner for these works.

That's too bad about Hahn... she's one of my top two or three living violinists, she rarely sets a foot wrong anywhere. I've heard Lisitsa in some solo repertoire - in some she's fine, in others less so; I'm not surprised she isn't great in Ives.

Also, I have to give a shout out to Oberlin! That's my alma mater ;D, and I have good friends who studied with Fulkerson (who taught at Oberlin until 2017) and Shannon (who still teaches there.) I'm not surprised it's a great recording - I know Bridge is on Spotify, so I'll definitely sample the performances!

Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #516 on: January 19, 2022, 08:59:33 PM »
Quite true! And there are over 100 other songs, almost all worth sampling. IMHO, he would have some kind of reputation based solely on these, but of course, he wrote a lot more. Like many here, I'm probably most in love with the big orchestral works, but then you have these gems, and his chamber music.

--Bruce

I agree completely with what you posted on the 'Listening' thread - that Jan DeGaetani has a really special way with these songs

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #517 on: January 19, 2022, 09:14:50 PM »
That's too bad about Hahn... she's one of my top two or three living violinists, she rarely sets a foot wrong anywhere. I've heard Lisitsa in some solo repertoire - in some she's fine, in others less so; I'm not surprised she isn't great in Ives.

Also, I have to give a shout out to Oberlin! That's my alma mater ;D, and I have good friends who studied with Fulkerson (who taught at Oberlin until 2017) and Shannon (who still teaches there.) I'm not surprised it's a great recording - I know Bridge is on Spotify, so I'll definitely sample the performances!

Very nice, classicalgeek. Fulkerson and Shannon are both exceptionally gifted musicians. Yes, do check out their Ives!
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Offline Iota

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #518 on: January 20, 2022, 12:11:16 PM »
There are plenty of recordings of the songs to explore. Jan De Gaetani's recording is a classic (sample below), and Gerald Finley has recorded two albums with pianist Julius Drake, which are excellent.

Here are a handful of individual performances that you might find intriguing. The bottom line: Voices are a very individual thing. I prefer artists who are less "operatic" in these; most of the songs seem to flourish with a simpler touch.

Like a sick eagle (Jan De Gaetani, soprano, and Gilbert Kalish, piano) - The singer moves through the phrases in quarter tones, to create the listless "sick" quality.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nc2Dq2w6tg

Ann Street (De Gaetani and Kalish) - Like the street, the song is short, scarcely 60 seconds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a30nnw1H5jA

The Children's Hour (Simon Barrad, baritone, and Joel Papinoja, piano) - A very fine recent version, with a stellar pianist, too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7SGHKwZrq0

Memories (Finley and Drake) - An encore to a recital of works by other composers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKrysPSOMhQ

--Bruce

Thanks, very interesting! I only know the Susan Graham/Aimard disc of Ives' songs, which from what you say you'd probably find too operatic in manner. But I listened to the Jan De Gaetani above and really liked them. I have some exploring to do!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Charles Ives
« Reply #519 on: January 20, 2022, 12:25:46 PM »
Thanks, very interesting! I only know the Susan Graham/Aimard disc of Ives' songs, which from what you say you'd probably find too operatic in manner. But I listened to the Jan De Gaetani above and really liked them. I have some exploring to do!

I actually do like Graham! (And it's fascinating to hear Aimard in the piano role.) She brings the same theatricality that has made her such a success in opera.

Also, a shout-out to Susan Narucki, who is also charming in the ones she chose.

--Bruce
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