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Ives: Decoration Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgving / James Sinclair

Album Summary

>Ives, Charles : New England Holidays Symphony
>Ives, Charles : The General Slocum
>Ives, Charles : Overture in G minor
>Ives, Charles : Yale-Princeton Football Game
>Ives, Charles : Postlude for Orchestra in F major
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

When asked to define a masterpiece in music Stravinsky chose Ives' 'Decoration Day', a tone poem that Ives later made the second movement of his 'Holidays Symphony' (its first movement, 'Washington's Birthday', is available as NXS 8559087). The remaining movements also celebrate key American holidays with characteristic verve. 'The General Slocum' movingly commemorates a 1904 boating disaster in which more than a thousand people lost their lives. The 'Overture' and 'Postlude' are early works that nonetheless display Ives' originality, while 'Yale-Princeton Football Game' exuberantly depicts a legendary 1897 match.



Reviews

God Bless America and Charles Ives!
Ives scholar James Sinclair leads the Malmö Symphony in this program of Ives rarities. Sinclair’s Ives recordings have all been revelatory, so I was anxious to jump into this new one featuring world premiere recordings of The General Slocum and the Overture in G Minor. Also included are Decoration Day, The Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Forefathers’ Day, Postlude in F and the loopy Yale-Princeton Football Game. The music has a cinematic quality, is richly colored and highly evocative of time and place. Decoration Day is the masterpiece of the set. Here’s Ives dipping into a musical stream of consciousness with quotations of familiar American tunes and a kaleidoscopic whirl of sound depicting a military band. The General Slocum recounts a 1904 boating disaster and it’s an eerie tone poem with hazy strings lurking beneath some banal popular tunes of the day, building tension and setting the stage for the frightening orchestral roar that depicts the on-board explosion. Have your friends try and guess who composed the Overture in G Minor (a school exercise that Ives wrote at Yale); if they say Dvorak, Brahms or Tchaikovsky they are wrong! That should give you an idea of what it sounds like. Best of all is the hyper-American The Fourth of July which has Ives pulling out all the stops in a polytonal and polyrhythmic feast of quotations from Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean and military fife and drum tattoos. The performances are glorious. Sinclair paces the music wisely and the Malmö players are up to the challenges. I wish the sound quality of the recording was a bit more spacious, but that is quibbling when the performances are so good.
Submitted on 01/28/10 by Craig Zeichner 
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Works Details

>Ives, Charles : New England Holidays Symphony :: New England Holidays (Holidays Symphony), for orchestra, S. 5 (K. 1A4)
  • Conductor: James Sinclair
  • Ensemble: Malmö Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Konsertsalen, Malmö, Sweden (06/19/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1917-1919

>Ives, Charles : The General Slocum
  • Conductor: James Sinclair
  • Ensemble: Malmö Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Konsertsalen, Malmö, Sweden (01/08/2008-01/10/2008)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 06/1906

>Ives, Charles : Overture in G minor
  • Conductor: James Sinclair
  • Ensemble: Malmö Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Konsertsalen, Malmö, Sweden (01/08/2008-01/10/2008)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1895

>Ives, Charles : New England Holidays Symphony :: New England Holidays (Holidays Symphony), for orchestra, S. 5 (K. 1A4)
  • Conductor: James Sinclair
  • Ensemble: Malmö Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Konsertsalen, Malmö, Sweden (06/19/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1917-1919

>Ives, Charles : Yale-Princeton Football Game
  • Conductor: James Sinclair
  • Ensemble: Malmö Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Konsertsalen, Malmö, Sweden (06/19/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1898-1899

>Ives, Charles : Postlude for Orchestra in F major
  • Conductor: James Sinclair
  • Ensemble: Malmö Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Konsertsalen, Malmö, Sweden (06/19/2007-06/21/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1896-1897

>Ives, Charles : New England Holidays Symphony :: New England Holidays (Holidays Symphony), for orchestra, S. 5 (K. 1A4)
  • Conductor: James Sinclair
  • Ensemble: Malmö Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Konsertsalen, Malmö, Sweden (01/08/2008-01/10/2008)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1917-1919