Charles Ives Biography (BBC)
Ives embodied a new musical vision, drawing on American realities rather than European tradition. Even in his teens, he wrote startlingly experimental choral pieces. He entered the insurance business, carving out a prosperous career, and pursued his own inclinations in music. Though he could only compose at weekends and evenings, he was extremely prolific, writing in almost every genre.
A democratic idealist, he drew on the vast reservoir of American vernacular music, producing a collective memory of his nation. Debilitating illness forced him to abandon both business and composition. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1947.
Charles Ives Biography (Wikipedia)
Charles Edward Ives (October 20, 1874 – May 19, 1954) was an American modernist composer, being one of the first American composers of international renown. Previously, his music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years, but later the quality of his music was recognized and he came to be regarded as an "American original". He was also among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatory elements, and quarter tones. His experimentation foreshadowed many musical innovations that were later more widely adopted during the 20th century. Hence, he is often regarded as the leading American composer of art music of the 20th century.
As noted, sources of Ives' tonal imagery are hymn tunes and traditional songs; he also incorporated melodies of the town band at holiday parade, the fiddlers at Saturday night dances, patriotic songs, sentimental parlor ballads, and the melodies of Stephen Foster.
Charles Ives Tracks
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