Musical Curiosity: Ives Style

ives-photoThis season, Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer has programmed four symphonies by American composer Charles Ives.  Symphony No. 1 fits solidly into the late Romantic style.  In his other symphonies he exhibits his interest in experimental approaches, often applied to his trademark use of hymn tunes and traditional songs.

Charles Ives was fortunate to have a father who not only encouraged his son’s musical education, but believed in encouraging his son’s curiosity to explore and experiment with his musical voice.  George Ives explored music outside the “normal” bounds of music theory and composition, and his experiments had a deep influence on Charles’ thoughts about composition.

For the musically “curious” and “experimental,” Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a proponent of Ives’ music, has created very interesting resources available online.  We encourage our patrons to visit the interactive website at the link here and have some fun exploring music through the lens of the Ives musicians. While the organizing focus of the website is built on Ives’ A Symphony: New England Holidays which is not included on our season, the information about Ives’ method of composition is all relevant to his other work. In particular we encourage you to start with the link to his Father’s Experiments. You’ll be able to hear examples of some of those experimental techniques in the videos and also play around with each technique on your own.

Visit the Utah Symphony website for program and ticket information for the Ives concerts and our entire season at www.utahsymphony.org/ .

For Utah Symphony concert goers this weekend, November 11 and 12, you will have the opportunity to hear Ives’ Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting.  You can listen to the three movements of this chamber symphony while watching the score, at the links below.

I. Old Folks Gatherin’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgOh4YJ0Ixk

II. Children’s Day
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za2GIkdIaCQ

III. Communion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq3r8iNBzk0

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