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Charles Ives in the MirrorAmerican Histories of an Iconic Composer$
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David C. Paul

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037498

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037498.001.0001

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Conservative Transcendentalist or Modernist Firebrand?

Conservative Transcendentalist or Modernist Firebrand?

Ives and His First Publics, 1921–1934

Chapter:
(p.7) 1 Conservative Transcendentalist or Modernist Firebrand?
Source:
Charles Ives in the Mirror
Author(s):

David C. Paul

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037498.003.0002

This chapter focuses on Charles E. Ives's self-promotional activities during the period from 1921 to 1934. Its point of departure is an analysis of Essays Before a Sonata, published by Ives as a prose prolegomenon to his Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord, Mass., 1840–60” in 1920. The chapter begins with a discussion of the literary context of Essays Before a Sonata and the inspirations for “Concord” Sonata. It then considers Ives's involvement with the Franco-American Society as well as his ambition in planning and executing the distribution of Essays, the “Concord” Sonata, and 114 Songs. It also examines how Ives staked his claim as the inventor of musical techniques that were on the cutting edge of musical modernism as opposed to transcendentalism. Finally, it concludes with an assessment of the unpublished autobiographical Memos.

Keywords:   self-promotion, Charles E. Ives, Essays Before a Sonata, Concord Sonata, Franco-American Society, 114 Songs, musical modernism, transcendentalism, Memos

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