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Ives: Symphony No 4, Browning Overture, Songs / Stokowski


Release Date: 12/26/2007 
Label:  Cbs Masterworks Portrait Catalog #: 46726   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leopold StokowskiGregg Smith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony OrchestraSchola Cantorum New York membersGregg Smith Singers,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

Special Order:  This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

In a very literal sense there is never a dull moment...the utter chaos let loose in the orchestra is, by any reckoning, tremendous fun...Stokowski, who directed the symphony's first performance, also directs the new one with an obvious sense of dedication...The recording is splendid and it is very good to see one further act of justice done towards a composer who has been so shockingly neglected in the past.

Charles Ives was not alone among members of the human race in being exercised about the purpose of life, nor alone among composers in thinking such an enquiry a fit subject for music. But he must surely have been alone in writing music quite like this to pursue the point. In a very literal sense there is never a
Read more dull moment. Indeed the proliferation of things happening is such that there is hardly ever time for any one possible answer to the basic inquiry to be expounded with conviction.

The inquiry itself is identified in (Part) I, a short Prelude in which Ives Sets for a chorus the hymn "Watchman, tell us of the night". The chorus is small, in size and contribution; the major part, here and elsewhere, is played by an enormous orchestra and a chamber group of solo violins, viola, and harp whose special repertoire seems to be based on "Nearer, My God, to Thee".

With (Part) II comes the first of Ives's answers, though just what the answer is might be thought to be in some doubt; there are episodes stated to be Pilgrims' Hymns, but these are short compared with the flood of orchestral sound unleashed on various avant-garde technicalities and on the performance, often simultaneous, of half-a-dozen tunes ranging from "Turkey in the Straw" to "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean". If II's answer is a double fugue, with more hymns for the subjects: "From Greenland's icy mount" and "All hail the power". The music itself will be familiar to listeners who own the Vox record of some eighteen months ago coupling the two Ives string quartets, for it is a large orchestral transcription of the first movement of "A Revival Meeting", the first of those quartets.

The fourth and last movement of the symphony is, Ives himself explains, "an apotheosis of the preceding content, in terms that have something to do with the reality of existence and its religious experience". Nevertheless the utter chaos let loose in the orchestra is, by any reckoning, tremendous fun.

Many American critics have also hailed it as great music (though written in 1916 the symphony had to wait for performance until 1965); and no doubt there will be English critics who share this view. I am not, alas, among them; but I am very glad to have had the opportunity of hearing and enjoying such a glorious technicolored feast of hokum. The technical experiments, whether chaotic in result or no, must often have involved extreme difficulties in performance, and three conductors and a very large and skilled body of performers have bent enormous efforts towards producing this sumptuous result. Stokowski, who directed the symphony's first performance, also directs the new one with an obvious sense of dedication. The recording is splendid, especially in stereo; and it is very good to see one further act of justice done towards a composer who has been so shockingly neglected in the past.

- Gramophone, [July, 1966] - Review of the premiere recording reissued on this CD.
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Schola Cantorum New York members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1912-1925; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/29/1965 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 30 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Robert Browning Overture by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1912; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/21/1966 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City, NY 
Length: 22 Minutes 58 Secs. 
3.
Majority by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Gregg Smith Singers,  Ithaca College Concert Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1967 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Gregg Smith 
4.
They are there! by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Gregg Smith Singers,  Ithaca College Concert Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1967 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Gregg Smith 
5.
Nov 2, 1920 by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Gregg Smith Singers,  Ithaca College Concert Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1967 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Gregg Smith 
6.
Lincoln, the Great Commoner by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Gregg Smith,  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gregg Smith Singers,  American Symphony Orchestra,  Ithaca College Concert Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1913; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/18/1967 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 

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