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The Unknown Ives Vol 2 / Donald Berman, Stephen Drury


Release Date: 09/28/2004 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80618   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles IvesGeorge IvesGeorge Edward Ives
Performer:  Donald BermanStephen Drury
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

As with his previous Unknown Ives release on CRI (no longer in print), pianist Donald Berman offers a superbly curated and wide ranging recital interspersing larger and shorter works that date from the composer's childhood (the Minuetto Op. 4 composed at age 12) to his final creative period (the Three Quarter-Tone Pieces for Two Pianos). The opening salvo, Varied Air and Variations, subjects its unison octave theme to wild keyboard fantasies bracketed by musical depictions of catcalls and applause from an imaginary audience. Several fragmentary sketches are included among a selection of fingerbusting Studies. Seven boisterous marches dating from Ives' early 20s incorporate popular tunes, including "Here's to Good Old Yale", in an Read more edition that contains Berman's transcription of Ives' improvised variants in a 1943 recording (see Ives plays Ives by typing Q343 in Search Reviews).


Berman not only understands Ives' volatile aesthetic but also feels it in his bones, and more importantly, is a fearless pianist with a huge, totally ambidextrous technique and big sound to match. Notice how in the Celestial Railroad (much of this music found its way into the Fourth Symphony's second movement) Berman lets the turbulent sonorities rip without losing the melodic thread of the popular song quotations. It's an altogether grander, more massively textured performance than Anthony De Mare's relatively compact and pianistically oriented version on the CRI release "Wizards and Wildmen".


Conversely, Berman's sensitivity and sustaining power hold your attention throughout the ruminative Impression of the "St. Gaudens" in Boston Common (an early piano version of what eventually would become the first of the Three Places in New England for orchestra). Pianist Stephen Drury joins Berman for perhaps the most fluid, well balanced, and astutely characterized interpretation on disc of the Three Quarter-Tone Pieces. You could imagine warmer, less hollow piano reproduction, yet Berman's enormous dynamic range certainly comes across. As usual, Berman contributes meticulously researched, insightful, and very readable booklet notes. I amend my enthusiastic recommendation with two questions that I hope will not remain "unanswered": a) will Berman conclude his recorded Ives journey with the two Sonatas? b) will New World reissue The Unknown Ives Volume 1? [9/29/2005]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Varied Air and Variations by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1923; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 5 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
2.
Waltz-Rondo for Piano by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
3.
Invention for Piano in D major by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1896; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
4.
Studies (23) for Piano: no 1, Allegro by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: c1910-1911; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 0 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
5.
The Celestial Railroad by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1924-25; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2004 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 8 Minutes 2 Secs. 
6.
Studies (23) for Piano: no 4, Allegro moderato by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 0 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
7.
Studies (23) for Piano: no 5, Moderato con anima by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
8.
Quarter-tone Pieces (3) for 2 Pianos by Charles Ives
Performer:  Stephen Drury (Piano), Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1924; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/19/2004 
Venue:  Crowell Hall, Wesleyan University, Middl 
Length: 11 Minutes 46 Secs. 
9.
Studies (23) for Piano: no 2, Andante moderato - Allegro molto by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
10.
Storm and Distress by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
11.
Studies (23) for Piano: no 11 by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (04/08/2003 - 04/09/2003) 
12.
Minuetto, Op. 4 by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1886; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2004 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
13.
Fourth Fugue by George Edward Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2004 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 0 Minutes 56 Secs. 
14.
March no 1, with "Year of the Jubilee" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (03/29/2004 - 03/30/2004)
Composition written: USA (Circa 1894 - Circa 1895). 
15.
March no 2, with "Son of a Gambolier" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1895; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (03/29/2004 - 03/30/2004) 
16.
March no 3, with "Omega Lambda Chi" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (03/29/2004 - 03/30/2004)
Composition written: USA (Circa 1895 - Circa 1896). 
17.
March in G and C, with "See the Conquering Hero Comes" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1896; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (03/29/2004 - 03/30/2004) 
18.
March for Piano: "The Circus Band" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (03/29/2004 - 03/30/2004) 
19.
March no 5, with "Annie Lisle" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1895; USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (03/29/2004 - 03/30/2004) 
20.
March no 6, with "Here's to Good Old Yale" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts (03/29/2004 - 03/30/2004) 
21.
First Orchestral Set "Three Places in New England": no 1, The "St. Gaudens" in Boston Common by Charles Ives
Performer:  Donald Berman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1912-1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/17/2004 
Venue:  Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts 
Length: 7 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: USA (Circa 1916 - Circa 1917). 

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