Category: By the bug

Charles Ives' songs played a pivotal role in his thinking, serving not only as material for many of his instrumental works but also as necessary focal points for his experimentation. What different ideas and techniques he might have developed without them is open to debate, though it is possible that Ives' inventive phrasings and aphoristic wit would be obscured if not completely missing from his music. Yet as fertile as the songs proved to be, many of them originated in the orchestral sets as "songs without words," only to receive texts and to find inclusion among the 114 Songs at a later date. This reciprocity indicates how central the songs were to Ives' imagination and craft. When the Moon invites comparisons between arrangements, presenting the Sets for Theater Orchestra first, then following up with the corresponding songs in their versions for voice and piano in the same order. Soprano Susan Narucki and baritone Sanford Sylvan give the songs appropriate characterizations, ranging from the bumptious extroversion of "Charlie Rutlage" to the captivating mysticism of "Incantation" and "Evening." As a good introduction to Ives, or as an advanced study of the intricate cross-relations in his music, this disc is highly recommended. ~ Blair Sanderson, All Music Guide

when the moon


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