Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Charles IVES (1874 - 1954)
Holidays Symphony, movements 2, 3 and 4: Decoration Day (1912/1913), The Fourth of July (1911/1912), Thanksgiving and Forefathers Day (1914) [31:14]
The General Slocum (1904) [5:46]
Overture in G minor (c. 1897) [8:24]
Yale-Princeton Football Game (c.1910) [2:27]
Postlude in F (1889) [4:54]
Malmö Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus/James Sinclair
rec. 19 - 21 June 2007 (Decoration Day, Fourth of July, Yale-Princeton Football Game and Postlude in F), 8 - 10 January 2008 (General Slocum, Overture and Thanksgiving and Forefather’s Day) Konsertsalon, Malmö, Sweden, DDD
NAXOS 8.559370 [53:16]

Experience Classicsonline


When I started listening to classical music in the 1960s a disk like this would have caused derision amongst many people. Cries of “amateur” were quite often raised against Ives, and those interested in his later pieces, such as the Holidays Symphony, were heartily disappointed in his early works, such as the cantata The Celestial Country and the 1st Symphony. We had no clear perspective on Ives’s music at all and the occasional broadcast, or LP release, only served to baffle us even more. How things change! Forty years on and Ives is seen as one of the most important composers to come out of the New World, a maverick in the sense that he blazed a trail for those who were to follow him. True, during his lifetime he had few admirers but those who knew his work - Aaron Copland, Bernard Herrmann and Lou Harrison amongst them - knew that he was a significant figure. Who, also, could have predicted that first rate performances and recordings of this difficult music would, ultimately, appear regularly on budget labels?

The Holidays Symphony is a four movement work made up of separate tone poems depicting various American holidays - three of them appear on this disk, the first movement, Washington’s Birthday, can be found on Naxos 8.559087. Stravinsky defined a masterpiece in music as Decoration Day, and you couldn’t ask for a better puff than that. The Fourth of July, which Ives rated as one of his best works, is a depiction of that festival through a boy’s eyes. Consequently, we have a fife and drum band, a firecracker is “accidentally” set off and as the mist rises there is the whole scene vividly in front of us - especially near the end where the Town Hall explodes! Thanksgiving and Forefather’s Day brings the Symphony to a magnificent conclusion with pealing bells and a chorus singing O God beneath Thy guiding hand.

Throughout these three performances one is conscious of the great deal of attention which has been given to ensuring that each work is presented in the best light and the editions employed are the best that scholarship can offer.

The other works on this disk are more than mere makeweights. Sensibly, they are placed between the movements of the Holidays Symphony - which isn’t a Symphony in the true sense of the word as we understand it from the German classical tradition. They are fascinating both as respite from the hard work of the three big pieces and for what they show us of the composer in his earlier years.

The Overture in G minor is a student piece and it goes through the European classical music motions. As with his 1st Symphony, written the following year, there’s a lot of Dvořák in there. It isn’t without its quirkiness, but you’ll have to listen carefully to spot the delicious jokes Ives plays. The General Slocum, despite being written only six years later, is a more mature and assured work, just listen to the bassoon writing and the blaring dissonant brass. Then note how the waltz grows out of the almost Ligetian multi-polyphony in the strings. This is a true Ivesian nightmare landscape, especially in the huge, catastrophic, climax.

The Yale-Princeton Football Game is another strange soundscape, which quotes from the Fourth of July, or perhaps vice versa. Quite what this has to do with baseball is beyond me! The Postlude in F is from pre-Yale days, written as an organ voluntary and orchestrated whilst he was studying at Yale. You’d never guess that it was written by Ives for it is very square, very gentle and totally harmonically delightful.

Love him or hate him, Charles Ives is now accepted as the major figure he is. This marvellous collection is very well played, expertly recorded and has a good note in the inlay sheet. If you’re new to Ives then this is a really good introduction to the man and his music. If you’re already a fan then this is essential for your CD shelf. Either way, this is a must-have.

Bob Briggs  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.