Item #39228 114 Songs. Charles IVES.

114 Songs

Redding, CT: C.E. Ives, [1922].

Folio. Original dark blue buckram boards with titling gilt to upper and spine. 1f. (recto half-title, verso blank), [iii] (index), [i] (colophon), 259, [i] (Ives's printed notes on individual songs], [ii] (Ives's printed notes on the genesis and inspiration for the songs, etc.) pp., 1f. (recto colophon, verso blank).

From the collection of noted American composer Lou Harrison (1917-2003), with his small circular embossed stamp "Library of Lou Harrison" to front free endpaper and autograph note in Lauridsen's hand laid in: "This was the composer Lou Harrison's personal copy (see library stamp), given to him personally by Charles Ives." Binding slightly worn, rubbed, and bumped; small tear to head of spine.

First Edition, second issue, limited to 1,000 copies. Kirkpatrick p. 151. Rossiter p. 183. De Lerma S78. Sinclair p. 658. The first issue of the present work, printed in a run of 500, was not commercially available; instead, Ives sent free copies to musicians and others he thought would be interested. As demand exceeded supply, he reissued the work in a second press run of 1,000 copies.

"Between 1919 and 1921 Ives gathered most of his songs, including 20 new ones, 20 adapted to new texts, and 36 newly arranged from works for chorus or instruments, into a book of 114 Songs, privately printed in 1922. Many of the songs use words by Ives or by Harmony, while others set a wide range of texts, from the great English and American poets Ives studied with Phelps at Yale to hymns and poems he found in newspapers, or other such sources. The volume encompasses the diversity of Ives’s output, from the vast clusters that open Majority and the quartal chords and whole-tone melody of The Cage to his German lieder and parlour songs from the 1890s. The late songs include a new style for Ives: more restrained, simpler, and with less overt quotation, although still often dissonant and full of contrasts used to delineate phrases and highlight the text. ... Once again Ives distributed his publication to musicians and critics, hoping to attract some interest, with little initial success; Sousa found some songs ‘most startling to a man educated by the harmonic methods of our forefathers’, and the Musical Courier called Ives ‘the American Satie, joker par excellence’. Nevertheless, several of the songs were given their premières in recitals in Danbury, New York and New Orleans, between 1922 and 1924.

[Ives's] music is marked by an integration of American and European musical traditions, innovations in rhythm, harmony, and form, and an unparalleled ability to evoke the sounds and feelings of American life. He is regarded as the leading American composer of art music of the early 20th century." J. Peter Burkholder, James B. Sinclair, and Gayle Sherwood Magee in Grove Music Online

"The 114 Songs forms the most original, imaginative, and powerful body of vocal music that we have from any American, and the songs have provided the readiest path to Ives's musical thinking for most people. Many of them have a touching lyrical quality; some are angry, others satirical. The best of them are musically very daring, with vocal lines that are hard for the conventionally trained artist, accompaniments that are often frightfully difficult, and rhythmic and tonal relations between voice and piano which require real work to master. Even when the melodic line alone presents no special problem, in combination with the accompaniment it offers a real challenge to musicianship. Surmounting the difficulties of this music creates an intensity in the performer that approaches the composer's original exaltation and has brought audiences to their feet with enthusiasm and excitement. But the simplest and least characteristic of the songs are still the most often performed. Like Schoenberg, whose fame rests on musical usages that had not yet appeared in the early pieces ordinarily performed on concert programs, Ives has been represented, as a rule, by pieces that have little or nothing to do with the music that made his reputation." Cowell: Charles Ives and his Music, pp. 80-81

Lou Harrison "was recognized particularly for his percussion music, experiments with just intonation and syntheses of Asian and Western styles. His works employed Chinese, Korean and Indonesian instruments as well as Western instruments and those of his own construction. Harrison's style was marked by a notable melodicism: even his percussion and 12-note compositions have a decidedly lyrical flavour." He had an affinity for the works of Ives, wrote a study on the composer, and conducted the premiere of his Third Symphony on 5 April 1946, "which he had edited from the original manuscript. For this work Ives received the Pulitzer Prize of 1947 which he insisted on splitting with Harrison." Leta E. Miller and Charles Hanson in Grove Music Online

An interesting copy documenting the association between two important American composers.

Item #39228

Price: $765.00  other currencies

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