Sunday, May 17, 2009

charles ives / john kirkpatrick - concord sonata

Wild and beautiful Ives treasure as interpreted by John Kirkpatrick, who, in 1939, gave the first public performance of the piece - which had been lying around unplayed since Ives finished it in 1915. Kirkpatrick spent years discussing the sonata with its composer. When asked about sections of Emerson and Hawthorne labeled "(prose)", Ives explained that it meant "not to be evenly played... the tempo is not precise... It is not intended that the metrical relation 2:1 be held too literally." When asked about the countless pencil revisions he'd added to the sonata's privately printed first edition in the years following his first heart attack in 1918, Ives said, "Do whatever seems natural or best to you, though not necessarily the same way each time." As for the variants he improvised every time he sat down to play it, Ives confessed, "I don't know as I ever shall write them out, as it may take away the daily pleasure of... seeing it grow." After Ives' death in 1954, Kirkpatrick became curator of the Charles Ives Archive at Yale, cataloguing thousands of pages of manuscripts, even piecing together fragments of torn pages. He was the first to record the sonata in 1945, returning to Columbia for its stereo debut in 1968. Of the three or four Concord recordings I've heard, this one seems most aligned with Ives' taste for gleeful insubordination, skewing conservatory-trained propriety with the elasticity of Thelonious Monk.

charles ives / john kirkpatrick
concord sonata
columbia masterworks ms 7192 (1968)

01 Emerson 13.35
02 Hawthorne 10.02
03 The Alcotts 4.37
04 Thoreau 9.43

vinyl @320


R3000 said...

Danke ! Ganz tolle Platte !

John said...

OHMYGOD. I've been looking for this recording forever! Thank you so much!

I see that most, if not all, of your recordings are posted in (high-bitrate)lossy formats. Have you ever considered posting in lossless, perhaps even for this release? Either way, thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this awesome share! the sound may be lossy, but the music is great

Antony Cooke said...

Check out my books about Ives——hopefully they will point the interested listener to the way to approach his music, and knock down some of the myths that have diminished him:

"Charles Ives and his Road to the Stars"
2013, & second expanded ed., 2016
Also can be found online——free download,

"Charles Ives's Musical Universe"