Ives Plays Ives: The Complete Recordings of Charles Ives at the Piano
Charles Ives, piano and voice

The invention of sound-recording devices late in the nineteenth century made possible the preservation of definitive performances played or led by some important composers of the first decades of the twentieth century. Elgar, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, and Stravinsky, among others, left a significant legacy of recordings of their own works. Charles Ives, however, did not approach recording in order to leave a legacy. At least at first, he simply wanted an opportunity to listen to some of his music with advantageous detachment (and possibly to shortcut supplying to Henry Cowell and others variants of his music). With virtually no performances of his important music occurring during the first two decades of the century, Ives certainly had a backlog of curiosity about the sound of his own compositional efforts, and the need to judge them as such.

By 1933 Ives had retired from his insurance business and had largely finished writing his autobiographical Memos. He had heard some performances of his instrumental works (mostly in very disappointing efforts), but none of his piano works. While on an extended European vacation, he introduced himself to recording, at the Columbia Graphophone Company in London. Over the course of a decade that included four such sessions, Ives recorded seventeen different pieces, ranging from the early March No. 6 and rejected Largo for Symphony No. 1 to the "improvisations" that indeed may have been freshly created in front of the microphone in 1938. But most of the music recorded-the Four Transcriptions from "Emerson," the Studies Nos. 2, 9, 11, and 23, and the "Emerson" movement of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.-is related closely to Ives's early, unfinished Emerson Overture for Piano and Orchestra (circa 1910-11).

This meticulously re-mastered reissue restores this historic recording, originally issued by CRI, to the catalogue. The booklet includes complete tracking information and extensive historical notes and documentation.

Charles Ives

Ives Plays Ives: The Complete Recordings of Charles Ives at the Piano

MP3/320 $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 (beg.)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 (end)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 3
Charles Ives
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Improvisation on a passage in Study No. 23, Four Transcriptions from Emerson No. 2 and Emerson Overture's Cadenza No. 4
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 - (beg.)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 - (end)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 11 (abandoned)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 11
Charles Ives
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Study No. 11 -
Charles Ives
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Patch for Study No. 23
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 -- (beg.)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 -- (end)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 3 -
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 3 -
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 3 (beg.)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 3 (end)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 11 --
Charles Ives
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Study No. 9, The Anti-Abolitionist Riots
Charles Ives
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Study No. 2 (with false start)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 2 (beg.)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 2 (end)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 23 (partial)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 (abandoned)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 (middle)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 23 - (partial)
Charles Ives
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Three Improvisations, No. 1
Charles Ives
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Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass., Hawthorne (excerpt)
Charles Ives
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Symphony No. 1/rejected mvt. 2. Largo
Charles Ives
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Unidentified
Charles Ives
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Study No. 20 (partial)
Charles Ives
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Three Improvisations: No. 3
Charles Ives
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Sonata No. 2 for Piano, Concord, Mass.: Emerson (partial)
Charles Ives
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Sonata No. 2 for Piano, Concord, Mass.: Emerson - (partial)
Charles Ives
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Sonata No. 2 for Piano, Concord, Mass.: Emerson - (partial)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 2 and Study No. 23 (mixed)
Charles Ives
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Four Transcriptions from Emerson: No. 1 - (abandoned)
Charles Ives
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Study No. 9, The Anti-Abolitionist Riots -
Charles Ives
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They Are There!, first take (abandoned)
Charles Ives
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They Are There!, second take
Charles Ives
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They Are There!, third take
Charles Ives
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March No. 6 for Piano, with Here's to Good Old Yale
Charles Ives
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Sonata No. 2 for Piano, Concord, Mass.: The Alcotts
Charles Ives
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