Ives: Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting" & Symphony No. 4

Ives: Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting" & Symphony No. 4

San Francisco Symphony & Michael Tilson Thomas

Editor's Choice

Charles Ives enjoyed a successful career as an insurance agent while composing prolifically in his spare time. He drew on many sources of inspiration when composing, including traditional folk and hymn tunes, the songs of Stephen Foster, and the popular patriotic, dance hall and holiday tunes of the day. Although his music was virtually unknown during his life, Ives is now regarded as one of the most important American composers of the 20th century. His third symphony, subtitled 'The Camp Meeting' was completed in 1910, and is a nostalgic backwards glance at an earlier era America that may not even have existed outside of the songs and stories that inspired its composition. Using dance themes and melodies from popular war songs, Ives imagines an idyllic scene of children playing, ministers preaching and bells ringing out across the countryside. His fourth symphony took the better part of 15 years to compose, and counts the hymn tunes 'Nearer, my God, to Thee' and the work of Nathaniel Hawthorn among its influences. Despite clocking in at a performance time of around 30 minutes, the 4th symphony's structure is intricate enough that is requires two conductors. This live recording is no exception, and Tilson Thomas is ably assisted in direction by Christian Reif. The New York Times' 2019 Recording of the Year presents these two symphonies punctuated by songs representative of Ives' inspiration. Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony Chorus in a rousing and pitch-perfect rendition of the religious and traditional tunes, perfectly paired with these significant symphonies. read more



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    SFS Media