Wednesday, October 03, 2012

John Kirkpatrick
"Ives: 'Concord' Piano Sonata no. 2" (Vinyl)

The 'Concord' piano sonata was brought up in music history/literature classes in school as though it was worthy of a semester's study.  While I don't discount this, I think it would take a special brand of idiot to plumb that deeply into a work of this density.

Ives is regarded as one of America's first great original musical voices. He chose the language of the European classical musical tradition, but what he did with it people are still wrestling with today.

His famous works like "The Unanswered Question," while they have lots of wrong sounding notes, are easily understood for their thematic intention.  Works such as this, the "Concord" sonata, are much denser, meatier works that even the avid listener might never encounter.

Later this year I'll be performing my first Ives string quartet.  (No. 1.) I'm curious to learn the experience of playing his music in a quartet environment.

Note of interest: John Kirkpatrick made the first recording of this work in 1945.  This particular recording uses stereo re-production, but is a re-release of the original recording.  I must say it sounds quite good for being done at the dawn of the age of modern recording.

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