Leonard Slatkin: A History of Music In An Ives Concert

WHAT’S IN THIS VIDEO: Charles Ives’ harmonic language evolves over his four symphonies. His dense layering of tunes and harmonies wasn’t really accepted. The four were composed over the span of 15 years. But he got so far ahead of the public that he wasn’t accepted. It wasn’t until the 1920s and 30s and 40s that other American composers took up the imagination. It wasn’t until the 1960s that he became accepted. He was an eccentric and his music isn’t for everyone. The four symphonies take more than two hours. It’s taxing for the orchestra. Playing them together is a journey that shows an amazing transformation in style and language.



  1. This kind of program definitely isn’t for everyone. Especially not in one sitting. Some changes will be seen immediately, but I think that the majority of how Ives evolves must be examined outside the concert space.

  2. The music of Ives as a revolution and evolution. I think those two points have changed my perspective on Mr. Ives completely and I am now really curious to learn more about Ives and his 4 symphonies. I would love to hear them in one concert-it sounds like the context would be important in having a clearer understanding of the evolution of his music.

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