Charles Ives in the Mirror: American Histories of an Iconic by David C Paul

By David C Paul

During this sweeping survey of highbrow and musical historical past, David C. Paul tells the hot tale of the way the song of yankee composer Charles Ives (1874-1954) was once formed through moving conceptions of yankee id inside of and outdoors of musical tradition. Paul specializes in the critics, composers, performers, and students whose contributions have been such a lot influential in shaping the severe discourse on Ives, lots of them marquee names of yank musical tradition themselves, together with Henry Cowell, Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, and Leonard Bernstein. Paul explores either how Ives situated his track amid altering philosophical and aesthetic currents and the way others interpreted his contributions to American tune. even supposing Ives's preliminary efforts to discover a public within the early twenties attracted a couple of devotees, the resurgence of curiosity within the American literary previous in the course of the thirties made a live performance staple of his "Concord" Sonata, a piece devoted to nineteenth-century transcendentalist writers. Paul indicates how Ives was once as a consequence deployed as an icon of yankee freedom through the early chilly conflict interval and the way he got here to be instigated on the head of a line of "American maverick" composers. Paul additionally examines why a up to date cadre of students has beset the composer with Gilded Age social anxieties. David C. Paul is an assistant professor of musicology and thought on the collage of California, Santa Barbara.

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Literary Awards
Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2010)

Additional info for Charles Ives in the Mirror: American Histories of an Iconic Composer

Sample text

On one side, so-called “New Humanists” made grim prognostications about the prospects for the United States and called for the cultivation of a self-restraint guided by the wisdom of the past. The most publicly visible representatives of this perspective were Irving Babbitt, a professor of French literature at Harvard University; Paul Elmer More, who worked as a journalist at the time but would take a position at Princeton University in 1921; and Stuart Sherman, an English professor at the University of Illinois.

Time and again, as literary historian Charles E. 28 What should be imminently clear by now is the extent to which Essays Before a Sonata was enmeshed in turn-of-the-century ideas about the Concord cohort. When Ives came by these ideas is unclear, the documentation not being sufficient to make a precise determination. 29 But he might also have become newly acquainted with parts of the standard cant about the Concordians through the extensive reading he did in and around his Asheville sojourn, as he wrote Essays.

In Memos, Ives used two kinds of evidence to vouch for his compositional precedence and independence. The first, and most straightforward, is a catalogue of his works, itemizing the dates of composition and describing any unusual techniques contained therein. indd 34 3/1/13 10:06 AM Transcendentalist or Firebrand? · 35 superimposing C major and F ♯ major, until 1910. As I discuss in chapter 6, many of the dates Ives supplied have since proven to be spurious. The second kind of evidence is subtler and has more to do with insinuation than concrete facts.

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