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American Classics - Ives: Songs Vol 1


Release Date: 06/24/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559269   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Charles IvesEdith Osborne Ives
Performer:  Sara JakubiakEric TrudelMary PhillipsLaura Garritson,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Biava String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For this Volume 1 of the songs of Charles Ives (the series will include all of the songs he completed), Naxos employed the services of no less than 13 singers, a potentially risky decision that happily turns out very well. All of the soloists, who represent all voice-parts (including countertenor in two selections), are first-rate singers, many quite young with blooming opera careers, each with a clear and compelling competence in how to sing songs. And these aren't just any songs, but some of the most fascinating, engaging, joyful, humorous, nostalgic, sentimental, artfully written songs in the repertoire.

The programming scheme is to present the songs alphabetically--not only is this handy if you want to find a particular
Read more song, but it also happens to create a very satisfying recital with an entertaining mix of styles, texts, and themes. This volume begins perfectly with "1, 2, 3" and ends (also appropriately!) with "Cradle Song", and in between we get such gems as "Aeschylus and Sophocles" (1922), "At Sea" (1921), "At the River" (1916), "Autumn" (1907), "The Cage" (1906), "The Camp Meeting" (1912), "Charlie Rutlage" (1920), "The Circus Band" (1894), and the lovely parlor-songs "Because of You" (1898) and "Because Thou Art" (1901).

Some singers are better than others at articulating the words--particularly important here since the texts are provided only online--and naturally, with this variety of voices, timbres, and techniques, some will appeal more than others to a given listener. For instance, I found Lielle Berman just a bit too "church-soprano-ish" in "The Collection", likewise baritone Patrick Carfizzi's southern accent for "Charlie Rutlage" is somewhat forced and inauthentic, and while it's well sung, to me, countertenor Ian Howell's "A Christmas Carol" is just too precious for its own good. But these are minor, personal quibbles in what overall is an extraordinarily satisfying, consummately entertaining, and consistently thoughtful collaboration that's always respectful of both the serious and humorous, the simple and the complex, the overtly melodious and abstract aspects of these often challenging songs.

Highlights are many, but include all four of bass David Pittsinger's songs, mezzo Leah Wool's "Ann Street", tenor Kenneth Tarver's "At Parting", baritone Robert Gardner's "The Cage" and "The Circus Band", soprano Sara Jakubiak's "Abide with Me" and "At the River"--and I could go on. You might think that listening to 29 Ives songs at one sitting would be a bit much, but thanks to these terrific singers, their fine accompanists, and to Ives' wildly, wonderfully varied, expert songwriting, it's just a pure pleasure--and you'll even find yourself smiling many times throughout.

There have been several excellent, highly recommended Ives song compilations issued on disc, including a complete edition from the early-1990s on Albany, a single-disc program on Decca (type Q3671 in Search Reviews), and two first-rate collections (61 songs all together) from Gerald Finley on Hyperion (for reviews, type Q9249 and Q11530), and this one promises to join them as an essential addition to every Ives and American song listening library. On to Volume 2!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Abide with me by Charles Ives
Performer:  Sara Jakubiak (Soprano), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1890; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
2. Aeschylus and Sophocles by Charles Ives
Performer:  Mary Phillips (Mezzo Soprano), Laura Garritson (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Biava String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3. Afterglow by Charles Ives
Performer:  J. J. Penna (Piano), Leah Wool (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
4. Allegro by Charles Ives
Performer:  Eric Trudel (Piano), Lielle Berman (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
5. The All-enduring by Charles Ives
Performer:  Robert Gardiner (Baritone), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1896; USA 
Length: 7 Minutes 12 Secs. 
6. Amphion by Charles Ives
Performer:  Sara Jakubiak (Soprano), Douglas Dickson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1896; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 19 Secs. 
7. Ann Street by Charles Ives
Performer:  Leah Wool (Mezzo Soprano), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Length: 0 Minutes 57 Secs. 
8. At Parting by Charles Ives
Performer:  Kenneth Tarver (Tenor), Douglas Dickson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1889; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
9. At Sea by Charles Ives
Performer:  Douglas Dickson (Piano), Ian Howell (Countertenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
10. At the River by Charles Ives
Performer:  Douglas Dickson (Piano), Sara Jakubiak (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1916; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
11. August by Charles Ives
Performer:  David Pittsinger (Bass), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
12. Autumn by Charles Ives
Performer:  Jennifer Casey Cabot (Soprano), Douglas Dickson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
13. Because of you by Charles Ives
Performer:  David Pittsinger (Bass), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1898; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
14. Because thou art by Charles Ives
Performer:  David Pittsinger (Bass), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1899; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
15. Berceuse by Charles Ives
Performer:  J. J. Penna (Piano), Mary Phillips (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
16. The Cage by Charles Ives
Performer:  J. J. Penna (Piano), Robert Gardiner (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 4 Secs. 
17. The Camp Meeting by Charles Ives
Performer:  David Pittsinger (Bass), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
18. Canon "Not only in my lady's eyes" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Kenneth Tarver (Tenor), Douglas Dickson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1893; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 3 Secs. 
19. Canon "Oh the days are gone" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Eric Trudel (Piano), Sara Jakubiak (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 14 Secs. 
20. Chanson de Florian by Charles Ives
Performer:  Mary Phillips (Mezzo Soprano), J. J. Penna (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1898; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
21. Charlie Rutlage by Charles Ives
Performer:  Patrick Carfizzi (Bass Baritone), Douglas Dickson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1921; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
22. The Children's Hour by Charles Ives
Performer:  Eric Trudel (Piano), Leah Wool (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
23. Christmas Carol by Edith Osborne Ives
Performer:  Eric Trudel (Piano), Matthew Plenk (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Charles Ives. 
24. A Christmas Carol by Charles Ives
Performer:  Ian Howell (Countertenor), Douglas Dickson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1894; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
25. The Circus Band by Charles Ives
Performer:  Eric Trudel (Piano), Robert Gardiner (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1894; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
26. The Collection by Charles Ives
Performer:  Frederick Teardo (Organ), Tamara Mumford (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
27. Country Celestial by Charles Ives
Performer:  J. J. Penna (Piano), Leah Wool (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1891; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
28. Cradle Song by Charles Ives
Performer:  Mary Phillips (Mezzo Soprano), J. J. Penna (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
29. 1,2,3 by Charles Ives
Performer:  Patrick Carfizzi (Bass Baritone), Eric Trudel (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 9 Minutes 23 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Abide with me
Aeschylus and Sophocles
Afterglow
Allegro
The All-Enduring
Amphion
At Parting
At Sea
At the River
August
Autumn
Because of You
Because Thou Art
Berceuse
The Cage
The Camp Meeting
Canon I
Canon II
Chanson de Florian
Charlie Rutlage
The Children's Hour
Edith Osborne Ives - Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
The Circus Band
The Collection
Country Celestial
Cradle Song

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