Thursday, July 12, 2012

Charles Ives: Complete Chronological Catalogue

"For all his singularity, the Yankee maverick Charles Ives is among the most representative of American artists. Optimistic, idealistic, fiercely democratic, he unified the voice of the American people with the forms and traditions of European classical music. The result, in his most far-reaching work, is like nothing ever imagined before him: music at once unique and as familiar as a tune whistled in childhood, music that can conjure up the pandemonium of a small-town Fourth of July or the quiet of a New England church, music of visionary spirituality built from the humblest materials--an old gospel hymn, a patriotic tune, a sentimental parlor song. The way in which Ives pursued his goal of a democratic art, and his career of creating at the highest level of ambition while making a fortune in the life insurance business, perhaps could only have happened in the United States. And perhaps only there could such an isolated, paradoxical figure make himself into a major artist." - Jan Swafford

This playlist is a roughly chronological collection of Ives' works; compiled after the list of works on AllMusic, sorted by year. Two realizations (by Larry Austin and Johnny Reinhard) of the Universe Symphony are included, as well as two versions (1908 and 1935) of The Unanswered Question, Emerson Concerto, and A Concord Symphony. For the Holiday Symphony, I put the four movements, composed from 1897 to 1913, in their chronological place, and also included a performance of the complete piece (assembled around 1917). The playlist starts with Bernstein's discussion of Ives, and ends with John Adams's orchestral version of five Ives songs.

Get this collection in one Spotify playlist: Charles Ives: Complete Chronological Catalogue (400 tracks, total time: 25 hours). Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album view.

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