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Charles Ives: Second Symphony

Building a Library assesses currently available recordings of Ives Symphony No. 2 and makes a recommendation.

Edward Seckerson for Building a Library assesses currently available recordings of Ives Symphony No. 2 and makes a recommendation.

Although it directly borrows from Bach, Brahms, Wagner, Dvořák and Tchaikovsky, the second symphony was Ives's first work to incorporate the staples of his mature style: the music of urban America. Patriotic, popular and gospel songs rub shoulders with marching band music, fiddle and hymn tunes in a powerfully expressive, quasi-Mahlerian synthesis. No wonder it found a champion in Leonard Bernstein who gave the symphony's triumphant, if belated 1951 premiere, and who began its recorded history.

Recommended recording: Concertgebouw Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)
Coupled with:
IVES, C: Symphony No. 3 'The Camp Meeting'
SONY G010001222765X (download only)

Other recommended recordings:

Below is a shortlist of other recordings which Edward Seckerson also liked, although we can’t guarantee the availability of these discs.

New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (conductor)
SONY SK94731

Release date:

Duration:

59 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Composer Charles Ives

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