Not that I’m referring to anyone in particular who might have mourned the anniversary of Ive’s birth today on social media. But if you don’t do quarter-tones and all those other “intellectual” aspects of Ive’s instrumental music, there could be hours of pleasure in store for you in his deceptively simple songs.
I’m sitting in a search marketing conference right now, so I can’t say much. But the songs are catchy, melodic and walk a tightrope between the satirical and the sentimental.
Preview - Charles Ives: Songs by Jan DeGaetani and Gilbert Kalish - Rhapsody lets you listen to 20 full tracks per months without joining or paying. This wonderful album is a worthy use of those freebies.
For a totally free Ives song session, here is a wonderful playlist where you can listen to some of the songs and watch a scrolling score. The singing on this playlist is not always ideal (Ives songs are a student recital staple) but it’s a convenient way to get familiar with these songs.
“The Circus Band” is a favorite. I like it better as a song (and PLEEZ, pianists, DO shout “Hear the trombones” at the appointed time - really) but some prefer this totally raucus orchestra/chorus arrangement by Ives, performed here by a school group under the helm of Michael Tippett: