Essays Before A Sonata. Charles IVES.

Essays Before A Sonata

New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1920. Octavo. Original full dark red cloth with gilt rules and titling to spine. 1f. (title) 1f. (dedication, 1f. (contents), 124 pp.

Binding very slightly worn and rubbed; edges and endpapers slightly foxed. Signatures slightly split at pp. 64/65.

A very good, wide-margined copy overall.

First Edition. Scarce.

"[Ives spent] two months in early 1919... on a rest cure at Asheville, North Carolina, where he completed his Second Piano Sonata, subtitled Concord, Mass., 1840–60, with musical impressions of Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcotts, and Thoreau, and wrote most of an accompanying book of Essays before a Sonata, his most detailed statement of his aesthetics." J. Peter Burkholder, et al. in Grove Music Online.

The Essays were privately published by Ives himself and circulated to friends and other interested parties. "Ives's tremendous solitude as a musical modern and his tortured attempts to make an integral whole out of his music, life, and thought constitute one of the great personal dramas of American cultural history... When, about 1920, Ives set this conflict down in writing (in the Essays), he gave an unequivocal answer to the question of why he was musically isolated... Given his own artistic convictions and the prevailing state of American music as a profession, Ives clearly thought that his isolation was inevitable. And in his defense of himself Ives used, consciously or unconsciously, rhetoric that portrayed him as he wished to be remembered. The reader of his writings invariably receives the impression of a cantankerous Yankee - radical, strong-minded, masculine, down to earth, cussing and mocking at refinement - who was condemned as disreputable by proper society." Rossiter: Charles Ives and his America, pp. 164-165. Item #26406

Price: $1,850.00  other currencies

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