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tween those who know and those who dont yet

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  • Michael Shaffer
    The way to close that gap (IMHO) is to propogate the careers and activities of Ives champions like you.
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 10, 2005
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      The way to close that gap (IMHO) is to propogate the careers and
      activities of Ives champions like you.
    • mhberest
      ... True. And by doing so get better information out there about Ives. The problem is he s one of the few composers subject to having his works deeply
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 10, 2005
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        --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Shaffer" <music@c...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > The way to close that gap (IMHO) is to propogate the careers and
        > activities of Ives champions like you.
        >

        True. And by doing so get better information out there about Ives.

        The problem is he's one of the few composers subject to having his
        works deeply interpreted (i.e., the Leonard Bernstein school of
        explaining and its graduates). People don't do that to Beethoven,
        Mozart, Bach, or even Tschaivokski because they know the musical
        language these guys are speaking in. They don't need someone to tell
        them what a dominant 7th means.

        With Ives, you have nothing familiar (even Schoenberg and Berg are
        closer to Tschaikovski than Ives is), so he's fair game for those who
        would normally just be doing things like interpreting "A Streetcar
        Named Desire" as an allegory for the decline of Western Civilization
        instead of being about Stanley and Blanche and STEEEEEEEELLA!!

        Ives is one of the few musicians who bears this burden and so we hear
        all these weird things about what his music means and then people
        listen and they don't hear those weird things and think Ives stinks.

        Although I agree with Mike that Ives's system was essentially his
        mind, I do believe he subconsciously had specific things he did to
        form his music that can be discussed in terms of not saying he's
        trying to connect to all the music of the world going back to
        antiquity, etc. etc.

        Even though Ives specifically said in the Prologue of the "Essays
        Before a Sonata" not to assume anyone composes anything with something
        very specific in mind musically, pointing out what's actually there is
        different from interpreting what it's supposed to be about.

        Susan Sontag's landmark essay, "Against Interpretation" (which I was
        made to read in college, about 30 years before I was ready to
        understand it) speaks of the fact that interpreting art is essentially
        not taking it at face value and falsifying it (i.e., saying "Streetcar
        " is really an allegory). It is, however, acceptable, if a way can be
        found to do so, to appreciate it for exactly what it is.

        That's where divining a "system" does not contradict the esthetic Ives
        discusses in "Essays." That's what we need to do.
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