Charles Ives and the Classical Tradition


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Edited by Geoffrey Block and J. Peter Burkholder

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Although Charles Ives has long been viewed as the quintessential American composer, he placed himself in the European classical tradition, drew on it heavily for his aesthetic philosophy and musical techniques, and extended it to create something new. This book illuminates Ives's music by comparing it with that of other composers in Europe and the United States.

Edited by two highly regarded Ives scholars, the book begins with essays that examine the influences on Ives of his musical predecessors and concludes with essays that find extensive parallels between Ives and such European contemporaries as Mahler, Schoenberg, Berg, and Stravinsky, whose music he knew little or not at all, but with whom he shared influences and concerns. Taken together, these chapters demonstrate that even apparently strange or distinctively American aspects of Ives's music--from his penchant for quotation to his juxtaposition of disparate styles--have strong precedents and parallels among European composers. Ives emerges as a composer at home in the classical tradition, engaged in exploring the same issues that confronted composers of his generation on both sides of the Atlantic.

Geoffrey Block is professor of music at the University of Puget Sound and the author of Charles Ives: A Bio-bibliography and the Cambridge Music Handbook on Ives's Concord Sonata. J. Peter Burkholder is associate professor of music at Indiana University and president of the Charles Ives Society. His previous books include All Made of Tunes: Charles Ives and the Uses of Musical Borrowing and Charles Ives: The Ideas Behind the Music, both published by Yale University Press.

"A stimulating and important contribution to Ives scholarship and to the understanding of twentieth-century music."—Larry Starr, University of Washington

"A valuable addition to Ives scholarship."—Library Journal

"Each of the essays in Charles Ives is provided with copious and detailed notes. A general index covers the entire book. This work is essential reading for scholars interested in Ives and his music."—Kathryn Bumpass, Notes

"Illuminates Ive's music by comparing it with that of other composers in Europe and the U.S. Begins with essays that examine the influences of his musical predecessors, and concludes with essays that find parallels between Ives and European contemporaries including Mahler, Schoenberg, Berg, and Stravinsky."—Reference & Research Book News

ISBN: 9780300105278
Publication Date: May 11, 1996
200 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Richard Rodgers

Geoffrey Block

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All Made of Tunes

Charles Ives and the Uses of Musical Borrowing

J. Peter Burkholder

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