Ives: An American Journey

Ives: An American Journey

by Michael Tilson Thomas
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Ives: An American Journey

For Michael Tilson Thomas, championing Ives's music has been a lifelong pursuit. One of his first concerts as a 24-year-old assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony featured Ives's Three Places in New England, and he recorded the work for DG a year later. (That performance has been recently reissued as part of DG's "Originals" series.) Tilson Thomas went on to record the four Ives symphonies for Sony; they are still the best available and the most faithful to the composer's complex scores. This RCA disc is something of a hodgepodge, but then again, so is Ives's music. Three Places is here in a freshly scrubbed and vividly atmospheric performance, and so is The Unanswered Question -- a transcendental masterpiece -- while the Fugue from the Fourth Symphony shows Ives's nostalgic affection for academic forms. But it is the songs that really show Ives's expressive range, and Thomas Hampson sings them with admirable naturalness and understanding. "Memories" is a hoot, "Serenity" ethereal, and "Tom Sails Away" heartrending. Some are accompanied by solo piano (played by Tilson Thomas), others with orchestra. And the choral songs are terrific, too. "The Circus Band" is Ives at his most rousing and original; it's like a college fight song backed up by an unruly --even inebriated -- band. Recorded live, it possesses a sense of occasion that sets the spine tingling. The recording is spacious and quite powerful, with very little audience noise. Very strongly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/05/2002
Label: Rca
UPC: 0090266370320
catalogNumber: 63703


  1. From the Steeples and the Mountains, for 1 or 2 trumpet(s), trombone, 4 sets of bells & 2 pianos, S. 65 (K. 1C12)
  2. The Things Our Fathers Loved, song for voice & piano, S. 372 (K. 6B58)
  3. The Pond (Remembrance), for orchestra (and optional voice), S. 40 (K. 1C26): adapted for chorus & orchestra
  4. Memories, song for voice & piano, S. 297 (K. 6B26a)
  5. Charlie Rutlage, for orchestra & optional voice (Set No. 5/3), S. 14iii
  6. March: The Circus Band (III), for orchestra & optional chorus, S. 33/3 (K. 1C8)
  7. Orchestral Set No. 1: Three Places in New England, for orchestra, S. 7 (K. 1A5): The "St. Gaudens" in Boston Common, for orchestra
  8. Orchestral Set No. 1: Three Places in New England, for orchestra, S. 7 (K. 1A5): Putnam's Camp, Redding, Connecticut, for orchestra
  9. Orchestral Set No. 1: Three Places in New England, for orchestra, S. 7 (K. 1A5): The Housatonic At Stockbridge, for chorus and orch
  10. In Flanders Fields, song for voice & piano, S. 277 (K. 6B56)
  11. They Are There! (A War Song March), for chorus & orchestra, S. 188 (K. 5B14)
  12. Tom Sails Away, song for voice & piano, S. 378 (K. 6B59)
  13. Symphony No. 4, for orchestra (& optional chorus, theremin et alia), S. 4 (K. 1A4): No. 3, Fugue
  14. Psalm 100, for double chorus (& optional bells), S. 153 (K. 5C33)
  15. Serenity, for chorus, harps & violins ad lib & timpani, S. 177 (K. 5B3)
  16. General William Booth Enters into Heaven, for chorus, optional solo voice, chamber orchestra & percussion, S. 181 (K. 5B9)
  17. The Unanswered Question (I & II), for trumpet, winds & string orchestra, S. 50 (K. 1C25)

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Ives: An American Journey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listend to this CD and I find it as an excelent CD. I learnd from it that Ives did not write in any style but his own. He is not a shame to give convetional Harmony (like in memory) the Opera house is very funny and sung with a very humoristic an boysh style provide by Hampson. Hampson is a great singer. He sings Ives with alot of sensitivity Both music and style. I recomend this Cd with all my hart. If you don't know this artist and you are curios You better have this record. It explain Ives in a metter that no one explaided it to my when I studies American clasical music and 20Th century music in the university.