Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

In 2001, I began researching the music of Charles Ives. I spent countless hours at the piano that summer, familiarizing myself with every score I could get my hands on. I particularly remember accompanying myself through the entire set of 114 Songs—quite a feat, as I’m a pianist but no singer. Originally, I had outlined a thorough consideration of time and temporality in Ives’s music, but, ultimately...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

It is a pleasure to thank the individuals and organizations that have provided me essential assistance and support. Much of my work on this book was supported by a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. A Provost Grant from Northeastern University funded my study of the Charles Ives Papers at Yale University. Most recently, a generous subvention grant from the...

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Introduction: Ives and Time

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pp. 1-26

In 1922, Ives self-published his 114 Songs, an assemblage spanning his full compositional career and a compendium of the techniques and subject matter of his music. Two years earlier, he had published his Concord Sonata and the accompanying Essays Before a Sonata. Ives composed very few new works after 1921, and it seems that, as he presented these three major works to a public mostly ignorant of...

Part I: Three Dualities

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1. God/Man: I Come to Thee and Psalm 14

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pp. 29-42

In his aesthetic history of Ives, J. Peter Burkholder divided Ives’s life and compositional career into six periods (1985: 43–44). These continue to provide a useful and influential means of thinking about Ives’s artistic development. The music of the first two phases, “boyhood” (1874–94) and “apprenticeship” (1894–1902), was relatively traditional. As Burkholder described, Ives composed primarily...

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2. Community/Individual: Sonata No. 1 for Piano and String Quartet No. 2

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pp. 43-69

Ives’s first piano sonata is rooted in his experiences of late nineteenth-century New England life and his later idealization of that time and place. The basic program, according to two retrospective commentaries, concerns young men growing up and leaving their distressed families behind. As Ives wrote in Memos: "What is it all about?—Dan S. asks. Mostly about the outdoor life in Conn. Villages...

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3. Intuition/Expression: “Nov. 2, 1920” and “Grantchester”

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pp. 70-100

Ives apparently began composing the song “Nov. 2, 1920” soon, and perhaps immediately, after the presidential election held on the date referred to in the title, making it among the last of the 114 Songs that he composed. He developed the same music in an orchestral version with unison male chorus called An Election, which he completed in 1923. The thicker texture of this arrangement became the...

Part II: Contexts and Methodologies

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4. Elements of Narrative: The Unanswered Question

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pp. 103-126

In the broadest sense of the term, there can be little argument that Ives’s music is very often narrative in character, its meanings linked to explicit or implicit stories. As I hope to have established, the reconfiguration of hypothetical, a priori linear successions is an important means by which these stories are conveyed. To choose one of many examples from the preceding chapters: in Ives’s Piano Sonata...

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5. Ives and the Now: “The Things Our Fathers Loved”

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pp. 127-143

At the conclusion of his 1927 essay “Photography,” a critique of the photographic medium and its claims on fidelity and truthfulness, Siegfried Kracauer asserted the potential of film to invest photographic images with a contextual meaning they lack: “If the disarray of the illustrated newspapers is simply confusion, the game that film plays with the pieces of disjointed nature is reminiscent of dreams...

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6. Cumulative Composition: Ives’s Emerson Music

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pp. 144-168

The Concord Sonata is an exceptional work of Ives’s in many respects. Its composition dates from the tail end of Ives’s most active period as a composer, the years leading up to his debilitating health problems in the fall of 1918, when Ives composed many of his most enduring works. The sonata was the most important piece in establishing Ives’s stature as a composer, beginning with Ives’s publication of...

Notes

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pp. 169-178

Bibliography

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pp. 179-186

Index

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pp. 187-191

Other Works in the Series, About the Author

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pp. 192-195