Charles Ives: Songs, Vol. 1

Charles Ives: Songs, Vol. 1

     
 

Naxos has instituted a project recording all of Charles Ives' songs within its American Classics series of which this is the first volume. There has been a previous attempt to record them all in one place, the results issued in 1994 on the Albany label. In that instance, just four singers and one accompanist covered the cycle of about 200 songs on four discs, with two… See more details below

Overview

Naxos has instituted a project recording all of Charles Ives' songs within its American Classics series of which this is the first volume. There has been a previous attempt to record them all in one place, the results issued in 1994 on the Albany label. In that instance, just four singers and one accompanist covered the cycle of about 200 songs on four discs, with two songs obviously missing from the canon. The third track on Naxos' Charles Ives: Songs Vol. 1, "Aeschylus and Sophocles," represents one of the tunes Albany left out, presented right up front. This is a coincidence of its presence in the letter order, as this series is alphabetically arranged by title, which makes more sense than the assumed, roughly chronological sequence of the Albany series. Alphabetical arrangement reflects the way these pieces are usually dealt with in Ives' catalogs, and a chronological arrangement doesn't really reflect forward development in Ives' songs, as he dipped into so many older compositions and touched them up, discarding the originals. There is a whole gang of vocalists in this first volume -- 13, to be exact -- not to mention four different piano accompanists, the string quartet called for in "Aeschylus and Sophocles," and the churchy organ called for in "The Collection." This horde of performers is no doubt pulled together to ensure variety in such a long undertaking of accompanied art songs. "Why do this?" you might wonder. Do we really need all of Ives' songs in a few discs? Actually, there is nothing wrong with that idea; all of them, including very many of the ones Ives described as "weak," are at least interesting, and some, like "The Cage" and "Charlie Rutlage" included here, are considered among the best and most characteristic art songs written by an American composer. On the other end of the equation, some of the songs Ives wrote that are less than successful, and therefore seldom singled out for solo recital discs built up out of his work, are still worth hearing. Take for example "The All-Enduring," a long ballad from 1896 filled with trenchant dissonances in the piano part. Was this a case of Ives feeling his oats in 1896, as plenty of evidence for that exists elsewhere, or rather, did he decide to add these notes later to toughen up the piece a bit? Is this a perfect collection? No. Is it truly possible that any complete collection of Ives' songs could be? He does state that he preferred several of his songs be performed by untrained voices, but as they belong to the genre of art song, trained singers invariably sing them. Patrick Carfizzi, at least, deserves kudos for thinking out of the box for "Charlie Rutlage," singing in a Texas-style cowboy drawl. Leah Wool's reading of "The Children's Hour" is genuinely lovely, and the idea of casting countertenor Ian Howell in the roles of Ives' now famous "Christmas Carol" and "At Sea" was a novel one. Likewise, Robert Gardner deserves singling out for achieving the plain and disinterested tone Ives wanted for "The Cage" and David Pittsinger's unapologetically sentimental delivery of Ives' strictly romantic heart-song "Because of You." Most of the problems are minor; "Abide for Me" and "Chanson de Florian" are not designed for high voice, tenor Kenneth Tarver has a problem with a tricky pitch in "Canon I," but these things are no big deal. Naxos' collection of Charles Ives' songs is off to a very good start.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2008
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943926925
catalogNumber:
8559269
Rank:
372356

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. 1, 2, 3, song for voice & piano, S. 321 (K. 6B66a)  - Charles Ives  - Charles Ives  - Patrick Carfizzi  - Eric Trudel
  2. Abide with me, song for voice & piano, S. 205 (K. 6B12)  - Charles Ives  - Henry Francis Lyte  - Eric Trudel  - Sara Jakubiak
  3. Aeschylus and Sophocles, song for voice, piano & string quartet, S. 206 (K. 6B70)  - Charles Ives  - Walter Savage Landor  - Laura Garritson  - Mary Phillips  -  Biava String Quartet
  4. Afterglow, song for voice & piano, S. 207 (K. 6B60c)  - Charles Ives  - James Cooper  - J.J. Penna  - Leah Wool
  5. Allegro, song for voice & piano, S. 208 (K. 6B35d)  - Charles Ives  - Charles Ives  - Eric Trudel  - Lielle Berman
  6. The All-Enduring, song for voice & piano, S. 209 (K. 6B23)  - Charles Ives  - Rob Gardner  - J.J. Penna
  7. Amphion, song for voice & piano, S. 210 (K. 6B24a)  - Charles Ives  - Alfred Lord Tennyson  - Douglas Dickson  - Sara Jakubiak
  8. Ann Street, song for voice & piano, S. 211 (K. 6B67)  - Charles Ives  - Maurice Morris  - Eric Trudel  - Leah Wool
  9. At Parting, song for voice & piano, S. 212 (K. 6B10c)  - Charles Ives  - Frederic Persson  - Kenneth Tarver  - Douglas Dickson
  10. At Sea, song for voice & piano, S. 213 (K. 6B63a)  - Charles Ives  - Robert Underwood Johnson  - Ian Howell  - Douglas Dickson
  11. At the River, song for voice & piano, S. 214 (K. 6B54)  - Charles Ives  - Robert Lowry  - Douglas Dickson  - Sara Jakubiak
  12. August, song for voice & piano, S. 216 (K. 6B61a)  - Charles Ives  - David Pittsinger  - Eric Trudel  - Folgore da San Gimigano
  13. Autumn, song for voice & piano, S. 217 (K. 6B45)  - Charles Ives  - Harmony Twichell Ives  - Jennifer Casey Cabot  - Douglas Dickson
  14. Because of You, song for voice & piano, S. 218 (K. 6B30)  - Charles Ives  - David Pittsinger  - Eric Trudel
  15. Because Thou Art, song for voice & piano, S. 219 (K. 6B32a)  - Charles Ives  - David Pittsinger  - Eric Trudel
  16. Berceuse, song for voice & piano, S. 220 (K. 6B41d)  - Charles Ives  - Charles Ives  - Mary Phillips  - J.J. Penna
  17. The Cage, song for voice & piano, S. 221 (K. 6B42)  - Charles Ives  - Charles Ives  - Rob Gardner  - J.J. Penna
  18. The Camp Meeting, song for voice & piano, S. 222 (K. 6B48b)  - Charles Ives  - Charlotte Elliott  - David Pittsinger  - Eric Trudel
  19. Canon: "Not only in my lady's eyes", song for voice & piano, S. 223 (K. 6B16)  - Charles Ives  - Kenneth Tarver  - Douglas Dickson
  20. Canon: "Oh! the days are gone, when beauty bright", song for voice & piano, S. 224 (K. 6B20c)  - Charles Ives  - Thomas Moore  - Douglas Dickson  - Sara Jakubiak
  21. Chanson de Florian, song for voice & piano, S. 225 (K. 6B27b)  - Charles Ives  - Jean Pierre Claris de Florian  - Mary Phillips  - J.J. Penna
  22. Charlie Rutlage, song for voice & piano, S. 226 (K. 6B61a)  - Charles Ives  - Patrick Carfizzi  - Douglas Dickson  - Kid O'Malley
  23. The Children's Hour, song for voice & piano, S. 227 (K. 6B38)  - Charles Ives  - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  - Eric Trudel  - Leah Wool
  24. Christmas Carol, harmonized by Charles E. Ives  - Edith Osborne Ives  - Edith Osborne Ives  - Eric Trudel  - Matthew Plenk
  25. A Christmas Carol, song for voice & piano, S. 228 (K. 6B27d)  - Charles Ives  - Ian Howell  - Douglas Dickson
  26. The Circus Band, song for voice & piano, S. 229 (K. 6B20)  - Charles Ives  - Charles Ives  - Eric Trudel  - Rob Gardner
  27. The Collection, song for voice & piano, S. 230 (K. 6B60c)  - Charles Ives  - James Edmeston  - Lielle Berman  - Michael Cavalieri  - Sara Jakubiak  - Tamara Mumford  - Matthew Plenk  - Frederick Teardo
  28. Country Celestial, song for voice & piano, S. 232 (K. 6B12a)  - Charles Ives  - J.J. Penna  - Leah Wool  - John Mason Neale
  29. Cradle Song, song for voice & piano, S. 233 (K. 6B60a)  - Charles Ives  - Mary Phillips  - Augusta L. Ives  - J.J. Penna

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