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Charles Ives's ConcordEssays after a Sonata$
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Kyle Gann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040856

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040856.001.0001

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“Emerson” The Essay

“Emerson” The Essay

(p.57) 4 “Emerson” The Essay
Charles Ives's Concord

Kyle Gann

University of Illinois Press

Ives’s essay on Emerson is less a description of that writer than an apologia for Ives’s compositional method, which is intentionally disunified and based on the discontinuous way in which humans perceive reality. The idea that Ives was a Transcendentalist himself (like Emerson) is difficult to maintain given the other, more conventional religious influences evident in Ives’s thinking. But there is a strong parallel between the way Emerson left the church at age 29, and Ives left the music world at page 27, both because they could no longer carry on the conventions of those worlds in good conscience.

Keywords:   Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, Claude Debussy, Transcendentalism, Horace Bushnell, religion, Joseph Hopkins Twichell

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