The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives: The True Story of a Famous American Composer

The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives: The True Story of a Famous American Composer

by Joanne Stanbridge
     
 

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A tender account of how Charles Ives came to compose the music that expressed the grief and shock of the whole city of New York after the sinking of the Lusitania.See more details below

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Overview

A tender account of how Charles Ives came to compose the music that expressed the grief and shock of the whole city of New York after the sinking of the Lusitania.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Stanbridge writes well for young children, with a straightforward but absorbing text. The sweet watercolors draw the reader into a century-old world.
—Pamela Paul
Publishers Weekly
This startling biography of Charles Ives centers on a historical tragedy and its impact on the composer, whose work was unappreciated during his lifetime. "People don't listen to his music," writes Stanbridge (My Four Lions). "They want familiar tunes and beautiful harmonies—not songs that are as bold as a city or as noisy as a traffic jam." In 1915, when Ives hears news of the Lusitania sinking, the music that "lives inside him like a friend" goes silent. Five successive, wordless spreads depict the foundering vessel and panicked passengers evacuating. Stanbridge's doll-like figures contrast uncomfortably with the silent scenes of disaster, as terrified individuals in a small boat look back at those clinging for life. Ives begins to hear music again when mournful New Yorkers join in song together: "In the sweet bye and bye,/ we shall meet on that beautiful shore." Stanbridge's work is its own curious, yet quietly inspired composition, a meditative ode to an artist whose work lives on "in everyday sounds—in the rumble of a motorcycle, the wail of a fire engine, or the busy chatter of a market." Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Unthreatening despite its subject matter, yet impressively moving."
Kirkus

"Stanbridge writes well for young children, with a straightforward bu absorbing text."
New York Times Book Review

"Stanbridge's work is its own curious, yet quietly inspired composition, a meditative ode to an artist."
Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
Young readers lucky enough to encounter both this book and Mordecai Gerstein's What Charlie Heard (2002) may never again hear the sounds of the world around them in quite the same way—they may be listening for music. The informing story for Stanbridge's brief biographical account is the work that Charles Ives composed after the news of the sinking of the Lusitania reached New York City. Her gentle, full-color illustrations are rounded and appealing. The several wordless pages devoted to the sinking of the ocean liner are appropriately dramatic and scary, but they focus on a small girl rescued by a lifeboat and reunited with her mother. It is as if Charles Ives and his New York neighbors are seeing the events before their eyes, and this sequence serves to underscore their reaction of grieving astonishment. Ives' From Hanover Square North, at the End of a Tragic Day, the Voice of the People Again Arose was first, and at long last, performed 13 years after Ives' death. Stanbridge tells her young readers that as listeners came to know Ives' music and as composers took inspiration from Ives' ideas, the line of succession grew, all the way to John Adams' 2002 concert, On the Transmigration of Souls, composed to remember the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, filled with the ordinary sounds of the city. Unthreatening despite its subject matter, yet impressively moving. (author's note, source list, suggestions for further reading and listening). (Picture book/biography. 4-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547238661
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,398,797
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Unthreatening despite its subject matter, yet impressively moving."
Kirkus

"Stanbridge writes well for young children, with a straightforward bu absorbing text."
New York Times Book Review

"Stanbridge's work is its own curious, yet quietly inspired composition, a meditative ode to an artist."
Publishers Weekly

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