Charles Ives: They are There!

June 16, 2010

Here is an historic recording of Charles Ives singing “They are There!” I remember first hearing this on the Columbia multi-LP set of Ives’ complete work in the 1970s. In this performance, I hear a crusty old New Englander, slipping in swear words here and there. I hear what we all know and love about Charles Ives, the simultaneities of musics, the dirty harmonies, the crazy patriotic quotes, and with the addition of his voice there is another element: a sense of reckless abandon, a sense of kookiness, and an almost drunken delivery (although I doubt he was drunk in this performance)–all flipping the finger at tuxedo-ed and perfect performances.

Here is Ives playing from “The Alcotts” from his CONCORD SONATA, just to mellow things out a bit here.

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