Charles Ives

Charles Ives

A Life With Music

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
A biography of the American composer examines how his music was shaped by his Yankee background, the influence of his father, and his Yale education

Blackwell North Amer
This penetrating study illuminates the life and works of the enigmatic composer/insurance executive Charles Ives, whose experimental works profoundly influenced the course of American classical music in the twentieth century. In his rich and colorful biography, Jan Swafford, himself an established composer, looks at this towering, paradoxical figure and finds the consistencies lying beneath the protean surface. Using what he calls an "Ivesian" approach, Swafford sees the music and the life as forming a single story; one that is firmly rooted in Ives's Yankee background.
Thus the book unfolds with a brief history of Ives's Connecticut hometown of Danbury, then describes Civil War band music, and finally draws a fascinating portrait of George Ives, Charles's remarkable father and musical mentor. We follow Ives to Yale and then to his early years in New York, as he becomes at once a composer of conventional church anthems, an unprecedented innovator in musical technique, and a rising insurance executive. After skillfully evoking the sights and sounds that influenced the composer and his music, Swafford weaves together Ives the businessman and Ives the musical explorer, always keeping the discussion of the works at a nontechnical level.

& Taylor

A colorful portrait of the enigmatic composer/insurance executive who changed the face of twentieth-century American music discusses Ives's early life in Danbury, Connecticut, his musical inspiration, and the rich assortment of Ives's writings and musical works.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c1996
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393038934
Characteristics: xv, 525 p. : ill., geneal. table, music ; 24 cm


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Oct 04, 2014

Fine biography of a fine, interesting subject. In depth discussion of Ives's life in the insurance business. Recommended.


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