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BBC Music Magazine

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  • Scott Mortensen
    Keep your eyes open for the June issue of BBC Music Magazine. Apparently, Ives is going to be the Composer of the Month. I haven t seen the issue yet. But
    Message 1 of 8 , May 4, 2004
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      Keep your eyes open for the June issue of BBC Music Magazine. Apparently,
      Ives is going to be the "Composer of the Month." I haven't seen the issue
      yet. But I got the news from one of the magazine's "sub-editors."

      I'm not sure if the recording that accompanies the magazine will feature an
      Ives work.

      Should be interesting...

      Best,
      Scott


      ************************************
      "The fabric of existence weaves itself whole..." -- Charles Ives
      Visit a Charles Ives Website:
      http://www.musicweb.uk.net/Ives

      Join a Charles Ives Discussion List:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/charlesives/

      _________________________________________________________________
      Watch LIVE baseball games on your computer with MLB.TV, included with MSN
      Premium!
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    • Gene Halaburt
      ... Thanks for the advance tip, Scott. I found a site offering sale of single issues of U.K. mags at: http://www.magsnmore.com/current_british_magazines.htm
      Message 2 of 8 , May 4, 2004
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        At 02:30 PM 5/4/2004 -0400, Scott wrote:

        >Keep your eyes open for the June issue of BBC Music Magazine. Apparently,
        >Ives is going to be the "Composer of the Month." I haven't seen the issue
        >yet. But I got the news from one of the magazine's "sub-editors."
        >
        >I'm not sure if the recording that accompanies the magazine will feature an
        >Ives work.
        >
        >Should be interesting...


        Thanks for the advance tip, Scott. I found a site offering sale of single
        issues of U.K. mags at:

        http://www.magsnmore.com/current_british_magazines.htm

        Are there others anyone might recommend? Thanks!

        Gene
      • tony cole
        No, cover CD is going to be of the Ives antithesis: Richard Strauss! And anyway, about time CEI featured as c-o-t-m after the BBc mag. has been going for more
        Message 3 of 8 , May 4, 2004
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          No, cover CD is going to be of the Ives antithesis: Richard Strauss! And anyway, about time CEI featured as c-o-t-m after the BBc mag. has been going for more than 140 issues! I wonder what sort of job they'll make of it, too - hopefully not the woolly homespun Yankee jingoistic version of yore.............. Tony Cole
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Scott Mortensen
          To: charlesives@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 7:30 PM
          Subject: [charlesives] BBC Music Magazine


          Keep your eyes open for the June issue of BBC Music Magazine. Apparently,
          Ives is going to be the "Composer of the Month." I haven't seen the issue
          yet. But I got the news from one of the magazine's "sub-editors."

          I'm not sure if the recording that accompanies the magazine will feature an
          Ives work.

          Should be interesting...

          Best,
          Scott


          ************************************
          "The fabric of existence weaves itself whole..." -- Charles Ives
          Visit a Charles Ives Website:
          http://www.musicweb.uk.net/Ives

          Join a Charles Ives Discussion List:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/charlesives/

          _________________________________________________________________
          Watch LIVE baseball games on your computer with MLB.TV, included with MSN
          Premium!
          http://join.msn.com/?page=features/mlb&pgmarket=en-us/go/onm00200439ave/direct/01/


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        • Scott Mortensen
          ... the woolly homespun Yankee jingoistic version of yore... It s interesting to me how perceptions of Ives and his music have changed over time. I didn t
          Message 4 of 8 , May 4, 2004
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            --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "tony cole" <tony@c...> wrote:
            >...I wonder what sort of job they'll make of it, too - hopefully not
            the woolly homespun Yankee jingoistic version of yore...


            It's interesting to me how perceptions of Ives and his music have
            changed over time. I didn't discover Ives' music until the early
            90's, and I've never really thought of his music as "primitive"
            or "home-spun" in any way. Quite the opposite. Ives' music always
            struck me as deeply philosophical, full of ideas about the nature of
            music and reality. And even better, these ideas were presented in an
            immensely personal, vital way. Nothing "quaint" about it. But
            clearly, his music was presented as such for quite a while. Like
            we've discussed, even Lenny presented him as a bit of a New England
            Nature Boy, who really didn't quite know what he was doing. (I'm not
            knocking Lenny's performances, BTW. They're wonderful. But I sense
            that there was a big part of Ives that Lenny didn't "get.")

            Here's something that I've been think about lately that sort of
            relates to this idea...

            One of the things that knocks me out about Ives' music is the way
            that he constructs his music to reflect his philosophical and
            religious pre-occupations.

            What do I mean by that? Consider this: Jan Swafford has asserted
            that, at heart, Ives is a religious composer. And I agree with him.
            But Ives is not religious in the conventional sense. Outside of
            early works like "The Celestial Country" Ives' works usually ask more
            questions than they answer. (I don't think I need to suggest an
            appropriate title here. ;-) Rather than presenting a
            unified, "sensical" view of the world--like most religious composers--
            Ives music often presents the world as fragmentary, shadowy,
            disjointed, and most of all--incomplete. My favorite description for
            this sense in Ives' music is "kaleidoscopic." His music often
            illuminates a chaotic, teeming reality that's all around us. But we
            typically ignore it by sticking to the well-worn paths of composition
            or thought. (A toy is an apt metaphor too--because Ives usually
            takes great delight in the fragments and colors that his musical
            kaleidoscope provides.)

            So, Ives music can be fragmentary and chaotic and kaleidoscopic.
            Nothing new there. That's modernism in a nutshell.

            But here's the paradox: Ives is also preoccupied with the idea of
            the One, unity, transcendence; he keeps returning to the hymn "Nearer
            My God to Thee." So then the question becomes, "How can I make
            sense of this immense mass of sensory experience. How can find--or
            even just glimpse--the Oneness that is still more real?" Or to put
            it even more bluntly, "How can I draw closer to God?" But there
            aren't any simple answers for Ives. Again, counter to most
            conventionally religious composers, his greatest works offer no ready
            answers. Only a sense of continual struggle, striving to make sense
            of things, to see what's just around the corner--even if IT can only
            be seen with a sidelong glance after a long, tough slog. (Given
            this, you might more accurately describe Ives as a "spiritual"
            composer, rather than a "religious" one. There's no sense of dogma
            or orthodoxy in Ives, even if he seems completely comfortable with
            his own Christianity.)

            Ives never tidies up his music in neat self-contained packages--
            because that's not the nature of reality. Our perception of the
            world, and our understanding of it, are in a constant state of flux.
            Our quest is never complete, and to create a work of art that is
            complete would be dishonest. To my ears, this "unfinished" quality,
            which is often taken to be a sign of Ives' primitivism, represents
            exactly the opposite.

            Taken as a whole, his works are incredibly coherent and well thought-
            out on philosophical, religious, and psychological levels. But of
            course, Ives' musical "order" is not the order that you typically
            find in traditional Western classical music. I think that it's this
            aspect of Ives work that most points to composers like John Cage,
            Charles Mingus and the whole idea of jazz, and other forms
            of "process music."

            Of course, on some level some of this is just speculation on my
            part. But it's how I've made sense of Ives' music! ;-)

            Make sense to you?

            Scott
          • anthony cole
            Makes complete sense to me, Scott, and I think this was how Ives music came to be appreciated over on this side of the millpond even from the early 60 s when
            Message 5 of 8 , May 4, 2004
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              Makes complete sense to me, Scott, and I think this was how Ives' music came to be appreciated over on this side of the millpond even from the early 60's when I started to hear it. Of course we heard the "vernacular" aspects but they never seemed any more the essence of the music than their equivalents did in the music of a Mahler or a Bartok. Tony
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Scott Mortensen
              To: charlesives@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 10:43 PM
              Subject: [charlesives] Re: BBC Music Magazine (and other musings)


              --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "tony cole" <tony@c...> wrote:
              >...I wonder what sort of job they'll make of it, too - hopefully not
              the woolly homespun Yankee jingoistic version of yore...


              It's interesting to me how perceptions of Ives and his music have
              changed over time. I didn't discover Ives' music until the early
              90's, and I've never really thought of his music as "primitive"
              or "home-spun" in any way. Quite the opposite. Ives' music always
              struck me as deeply philosophical, full of ideas about the nature of
              music and reality. And even better, these ideas were presented in an
              immensely personal, vital way. Nothing "quaint" about it. But
              clearly, his music was presented as such for quite a while. Like
              we've discussed, even Lenny presented him as a bit of a New England
              Nature Boy, who really didn't quite know what he was doing. (I'm not
              knocking Lenny's performances, BTW. They're wonderful. But I sense
              that there was a big part of Ives that Lenny didn't "get.")

              Here's something that I've been think about lately that sort of
              relates to this idea...

              One of the things that knocks me out about Ives' music is the way
              that he constructs his music to reflect his philosophical and
              religious pre-occupations.

              What do I mean by that? Consider this: Jan Swafford has asserted
              that, at heart, Ives is a religious composer. And I agree with him.
              But Ives is not religious in the conventional sense. Outside of
              early works like "The Celestial Country" Ives' works usually ask more
              questions than they answer. (I don't think I need to suggest an
              appropriate title here. ;-) Rather than presenting a
              unified, "sensical" view of the world--like most religious composers--
              Ives music often presents the world as fragmentary, shadowy,
              disjointed, and most of all--incomplete. My favorite description for
              this sense in Ives' music is "kaleidoscopic." His music often
              illuminates a chaotic, teeming reality that's all around us. But we
              typically ignore it by sticking to the well-worn paths of composition
              or thought. (A toy is an apt metaphor too--because Ives usually
              takes great delight in the fragments and colors that his musical
              kaleidoscope provides.)

              So, Ives music can be fragmentary and chaotic and kaleidoscopic.
              Nothing new there. That's modernism in a nutshell.

              But here's the paradox: Ives is also preoccupied with the idea of
              the One, unity, transcendence; he keeps returning to the hymn "Nearer
              My God to Thee." So then the question becomes, "How can I make
              sense of this immense mass of sensory experience. How can find--or
              even just glimpse--the Oneness that is still more real?" Or to put
              it even more bluntly, "How can I draw closer to God?" But there
              aren't any simple answers for Ives. Again, counter to most
              conventionally religious composers, his greatest works offer no ready
              answers. Only a sense of continual struggle, striving to make sense
              of things, to see what's just around the corner--even if IT can only
              be seen with a sidelong glance after a long, tough slog. (Given
              this, you might more accurately describe Ives as a "spiritual"
              composer, rather than a "religious" one. There's no sense of dogma
              or orthodoxy in Ives, even if he seems completely comfortable with
              his own Christianity.)

              Ives never tidies up his music in neat self-contained packages--
              because that's not the nature of reality. Our perception of the
              world, and our understanding of it, are in a constant state of flux.
              Our quest is never complete, and to create a work of art that is
              complete would be dishonest. To my ears, this "unfinished" quality,
              which is often taken to be a sign of Ives' primitivism, represents
              exactly the opposite.

              Taken as a whole, his works are incredibly coherent and well thought-
              out on philosophical, religious, and psychological levels. But of
              course, Ives' musical "order" is not the order that you typically
              find in traditional Western classical music. I think that it's this
              aspect of Ives work that most points to composers like John Cage,
              Charles Mingus and the whole idea of jazz, and other forms
              of "process music."

              Of course, on some level some of this is just speculation on my
              part. But it's how I've made sense of Ives' music! ;-)

              Make sense to you?

              Scott




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            • quartodeciman
              Do we need to look closely at those spiritual models that formed Ives philosophically? George Ives, RW Emerson, HD Thoreau, Harmony. He began to learn to look
              Message 6 of 8 , May 5, 2004
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                Do we need to look closely at those spiritual models that formed
                Ives philosophically?

                George Ives, RW Emerson, HD Thoreau, Harmony.

                He began to learn to look beyond the veil of particular differences
                at home with his dad. He began to read transcendentalists in
                earnest at Yale. His wife kept him in tune.

                Emerson on Nature --->
                http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/emerson/nature.ht
                ml

                Thoreau --->
                http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap4/thoreau.html

                Quart
              • Scott Mortensen
                ... Good thinking Quart. We can also look at Ives very own writings--especially the Essays Before a Sonata. Here s one of my favorite passages from the
                Message 7 of 8 , May 5, 2004
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                  --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "quartodeciman"
                  <quartodeciman@h...> wrote:
                  > Do we need to look closely at those spiritual models that formed
                  > Ives philosophically?
                  >
                  > George Ives, RW Emerson, HD Thoreau, Harmony.
                  >
                  > He began to learn to look beyond the veil of particular differences
                  > at home with his dad. He began to read transcendentalists in
                  > earnest at Yale. His wife kept him in tune.


                  Good thinking Quart.

                  We can also look at Ives' very own writings--especially the "Essays
                  Before a Sonata."

                  Here's one of my favorite passages from the "Emerson" chapter:

                  [Emerson] is greater,
                  possibly, as an invader of the unknown,--America's deepest
                  explorer of the spiritual immensities,--a seer painting his
                  discoveries in masses and with any color that may lie at hand--
                  cosmic, religious, human, even sensuous; a recorder, freely
                  describing the inevitable struggle in the soul's uprise--
                  perceiving from this inward source alone, that every "ultimate
                  fact is only the first of a new series"; a discoverer, whose
                  heart knows, with Voltaire, "that man seriously reflects when
                  left alone," and would then discover, if he can, that "wondrous
                  chain which links the heavens with earth--the world of beings
                  subject to one law."

                  I think Ives' description of Emerson is a description of IVES (ideal
                  self) as much as it is of Emerson.

                  BTW, the complete "Essays Before a Sonata" is available online at:

                  ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/etext03/ivess10.txt


                  Hope everyone is having a good day...

                  Scott
                • anthony cole
                  Well, the June Beeb mag. has just flopped on to my doormat........In addition to the Ives feature as comp. of the month (only about 11 years or 130-odd issues
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 7, 2004
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                    Well, the June Beeb mag. has just flopped on to my doormat........In addition to the Ives feature as comp. of the month (only about 11 years or 130-odd issues late, I'd say if these featurettes are meant to represent any scale of greatness - Boyce was "done" 5 years ago!), there's also a glowing review of Aimard,Graham. A.Burton does a tolerable job on the COTM, I think, starting with the Schoenberg quote and going on to a description of how and when the music became known and also its influence on mid- to late 20th cent. composers. He goes some way to pointing out the philosophical/transcendental underpinning of the works - and it is surely that very transcendence of the everyday, whilst coloured in the everyday, which is Ives' particular genius. Tony Cole
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Scott Mortensen
                    To: charlesives@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 10:43 PM
                    Subject: [charlesives] Re: BBC Music Magazine (and other musings)


                    --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "tony cole" <tony@c...> wrote:
                    >...I wonder what sort of job they'll make of it, too - hopefully not
                    the woolly homespun Yankee jingoistic version of yore...


                    It's interesting to me how perceptions of Ives and his music have
                    changed over time. I didn't discover Ives' music until the early
                    90's, and I've never really thought of his music as "primitive"
                    or "home-spun" in any way. Quite the opposite. Ives' music always
                    struck me as deeply philosophical, full of ideas about the nature of
                    music and reality. And even better, these ideas were presented in an
                    immensely personal, vital way. Nothing "quaint" about it. But
                    clearly, his music was presented as such for quite a while. Like
                    we've discussed, even Lenny presented him as a bit of a New England
                    Nature Boy, who really didn't quite know what he was doing. (I'm not
                    knocking Lenny's performances, BTW. They're wonderful. But I sense
                    that there was a big part of Ives that Lenny didn't "get.")

                    Here's something that I've been think about lately that sort of
                    relates to this idea...

                    One of the things that knocks me out about Ives' music is the way
                    that he constructs his music to reflect his philosophical and
                    religious pre-occupations.

                    What do I mean by that? Consider this: Jan Swafford has asserted
                    that, at heart, Ives is a religious composer. And I agree with him.
                    But Ives is not religious in the conventional sense. Outside of
                    early works like "The Celestial Country" Ives' works usually ask more
                    questions than they answer. (I don't think I need to suggest an
                    appropriate title here. ;-) Rather than presenting a
                    unified, "sensical" view of the world--like most religious composers--
                    Ives music often presents the world as fragmentary, shadowy,
                    disjointed, and most of all--incomplete. My favorite description for
                    this sense in Ives' music is "kaleidoscopic." His music often
                    illuminates a chaotic, teeming reality that's all around us. But we
                    typically ignore it by sticking to the well-worn paths of composition
                    or thought. (A toy is an apt metaphor too--because Ives usually
                    takes great delight in the fragments and colors that his musical
                    kaleidoscope provides.)

                    So, Ives music can be fragmentary and chaotic and kaleidoscopic.
                    Nothing new there. That's modernism in a nutshell.

                    But here's the paradox: Ives is also preoccupied with the idea of
                    the One, unity, transcendence; he keeps returning to the hymn "Nearer
                    My God to Thee." So then the question becomes, "How can I make
                    sense of this immense mass of sensory experience. How can find--or
                    even just glimpse--the Oneness that is still more real?" Or to put
                    it even more bluntly, "How can I draw closer to God?" But there
                    aren't any simple answers for Ives. Again, counter to most
                    conventionally religious composers, his greatest works offer no ready
                    answers. Only a sense of continual struggle, striving to make sense
                    of things, to see what's just around the corner--even if IT can only
                    be seen with a sidelong glance after a long, tough slog. (Given
                    this, you might more accurately describe Ives as a "spiritual"
                    composer, rather than a "religious" one. There's no sense of dogma
                    or orthodoxy in Ives, even if he seems completely comfortable with
                    his own Christianity.)

                    Ives never tidies up his music in neat self-contained packages--
                    because that's not the nature of reality. Our perception of the
                    world, and our understanding of it, are in a constant state of flux.
                    Our quest is never complete, and to create a work of art that is
                    complete would be dishonest. To my ears, this "unfinished" quality,
                    which is often taken to be a sign of Ives' primitivism, represents
                    exactly the opposite.

                    Taken as a whole, his works are incredibly coherent and well thought-
                    out on philosophical, religious, and psychological levels. But of
                    course, Ives' musical "order" is not the order that you typically
                    find in traditional Western classical music. I think that it's this
                    aspect of Ives work that most points to composers like John Cage,
                    Charles Mingus and the whole idea of jazz, and other forms
                    of "process music."

                    Of course, on some level some of this is just speculation on my
                    part. But it's how I've made sense of Ives' music! ;-)

                    Make sense to you?

                    Scott




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                    a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
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