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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 Music

“Emerson” The Music

Chapter:
(p.74) 5 “Emerson” The Music
Source:
Charles Ives's Concord
Author(s):

Kyle Gann

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040856.003.0005

The form of the Emerson has often been dismissed as too complex to characterize, yet it can easily be understood as an unconventional sonata-allegro form on seven themes, interrupted by eight developmental episodes. As the piece originated in an “Emerson Concerto,” the Beethoven’s Fifth motive (G-G-G-Eb) and “Emerson” theme act as ritornellos, framing devices for the originally conceived piano solos. The fact that opening material is recapitulated a helf-step higher leaves the movement open-ended, as a question the other movements will attempt to answer.

Keywords:   Ralph Waldo Emerson, sonata-allegro form, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, ritornello, John Kirkpatrick

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