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Programming guide: May
1923: song The One Way composed, prompted by Ives's aggravation with conventional songs
1961: First recording: choral Turn Ye, Turn Ye (The Hamline A Capella Choir, John Jaeger [Bar], cond. by Robert Holliday; issued in 1961 by The Society for the Preservation of the American Musical Heritage/Music in America)
May 1 1920: National Symphony Orchestra
(of New York), cond. by Paul Eisler, "reading" of Decoration Day
[mvt. ii of "Holidays Symphony"], during a rehearsal at Carnegie Hall, New York City
1928: Oscar Ziegler (pf) performs The Alcotts [mvt. iii of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.], at the New-York Historical Society
1932: Premiere: songs Evening, The Indians, Maple Leaves,
The See’r, and Walking (Hubert Linscott [Bar] and Aaron Copland [pf]), at the Yaddo Festival, Sarasota Springs, NY
May 3 1943: Premiere: song Harpalus
(Katharine Seymour [S] and Julius Hijman [pf]), at the Y.M.C.A. Assembly
Hall, Houston, Texas
1966: First recording: choral Psalm 90 (The Gregg Smith Singers,
The Ithaca College Concert Choir with Ester Martinez [S] and Melvin Brown [T], cond. by Gregg Smith; issued in 1966
by Columbia Records)
May 4 1966: First recording: choral versions
of Serenity and General William Booth Enters into Heaven
(The Gregg Smith Singers with The Columbia Chamber Orchestra, cond. by Gregg Smith;
issued in 1966 by Columbia Records)
May 5 1947: Announcement of Pulitzer
Prize to Charles Ives for his Symphony No. 3
1967: First recording: 2-piano Three Quarter-Tone Pieces (George
Pappastavrou and Stuart Warren Lanning; issued in 1967 by Columbia/Odyssey)
May 6 1937: Premiere: choral Psalm
67 (The Madrigal Singers, cond. by Lehman Engel), at W.P.A. Theatre
of Music, New York City
1966: First recording: choral Psalm 100 and Psalm 150 (The
Gregg Smith Singers and The Ithaca College Concert Choir, cond. by Gregg Smith; issued in 1966 by Columbia Records)
May 7 1812: Birth of poet Robert Browning
at Camberwell, England. Ives composed Robert Browning Overture andused Browning poems for songs The Year’s at the Spring and Paracelsus.
1833: Birth of Johannes Brahms at Hamburg, Germany. Ives modeled several
of his works on Brahm’s music: Symphony No. 1 (Symphony No. 2), and songs ‘Feldeinsamkeit’ (Op.
86/2; song Feldeinsamkeit), ‘Wie Melodien zeiht es mir’ (Op. 105/1; song Wie Melodien zeiht es mir),
‘Wiegenlied’ (Op. 49/4; song Wiegenlied). Ives also borrowed material from Brahms’s Symphony No. 1/i & iv (Symphony
No. 2), Symphony No. 2 (String Quartet No. 2, mvt. ii), Symphony No. 3/i (Symphony No. 2, mvt. i), ‘Four Serious Songs’ (Op. 121; Symphony No. 2, mvt. iv).
1833: Birth of Piotr Tchaikovsky at Votkinsk, Russia. Ives modeled his
first two symphonies on Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 (Symphony No. 2) and Symphony No. 6/iii (Symphony
No. 1, mvt. iv) and borrowed material from Symphony No. 4/iii (Symphony No. 2, mvt. v), Symphony No. 6/ii
(song The Side Show), Symphony No. 6/iii (Symphony No. 1, mvt. iv and String Quartet No.
2, mvt. ii).
1893: First Sunday as organist of St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church, New Haven,
at which place Ives performed his choral piece Easter Carol.
1902: Kaltenborn [String] Quartet plays Intermezzo (mvt. iv of cantata
The Celestial Country) in New Haven.
1915: Passenger ship Lusitania sunk; hymn tune IN THE
SWEET BYE AND BYE
is sung at Hanover Square "El" [Elevated] station moving Ives to compose mvt. iii ("From Hanover Square
North, at the End of a Tragic Day, the Voice of the People Again Arose") of Orchestral Set No. 2
May 8 1891: Premiere: "National Airs for Violin and Organ (Arr. with Pedal Variations)" [possibly Ives’s own
Variations on "America"] (Charles Ives, org), at Danbury Baptist Church, Danbury, Conn.
1952: First publication: song Ilmenau, repr. as separate song sheet, New York: Peer International
May 10 1933: Premiere: Symphony No. 4,
mvt. iii (The New Chamber Orchestra, cond. by Bernard Herrmann), at New School Auditorium, New York City
1951: Premiere: chamber ens Allegretto sombreoso (Incantation) [mvt.
vi of Set No. 1], Luck and Work [mvt. ii of Set No. 3], and Largo for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano
(unnamed performers), at McMillan Theatre, Columbia University, New York City
May 11 1938: Ives records five sides on three
discs at Melotone Recording Studio in New York City, yielding first recordings: Symphony No. 1/rejected mvt. ii [arr. for pf], piano
Study No. 11, and Three Improvisations (Charles Ives [pf]), released in 1974 by Columbia Records and by CRI in 1999
1946: Premiere: Central Park in the Dark, The Unanswered Question
[version 2], and String Quartet No. 2 (ensembles of Juilliard Graduate School; the orchestral works cond. by
Edgar Schenkman and Theodore Bloomfield [apparently switching on/off-stage rôles]), and song The
Housatonic at Stockbridge (Mordecai Bauman [Bar] and Lucy Brown [pf]), at McMillan Theatre, Columbia University,
New York City
1951: First publication: Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, ed.
by John Kirkpatrick, New York and London: G. Schirmer
1963: Premiere: songs On the Antipodes, September, and Tom
Sails Away (Norma Marder [S] and James Tenney [pf]), at McMillin Theatre, Columbia University, New York City
May 12 1892: Birth of contralto Radiana Pazmor
at San Francisco, Calif. Pazmor sang the premiere of songs General Booth Enters into Heaven, God Bless and Keep Thee, Hymn,
1901: Premiere: lost organ Postlude III (Charles Ives, org), at
Central Presbyterian Church; developed into mvt. ii of Symphony No. 3
1937: John Kirkpatrick meets Ives for the first time, West Redding, Conn.
Kirkpatrick premiered Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass. (Nov 1938) and became the leading champion of
Ives in the 20th century.
1970: First recording: Largo for Violin and Piano (rejected mvt.
ii of Pre-First Sonata for Violin and Piano (Paul Zukofsky [vn] and Gilbert Kalish [pf]; issued in 1970 by Columbia
May 14 1896: Premiere: choral Psalm 150
(Center Church choir), at Center Church, New Haven, Conn.
1950: Premiere: song When stars are in the quiet skies (David V.
Williams [B] and George Barron [pf]), at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
1991: First recording: songs August, December, and The
Rainbow (Henry Herford [Bar] and Robin Bowman [pf]; issued in 1991 by Unicorn-Kanchana Records)
May 15 1901: Premiere: songs An Old Flame
and Tarrant Moss (Ellis Ellsworth Giles [T] and Charles Ives? or
Mr. Modeln? [pf]), at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City
1934: Nicolas Slonimsky records the "Barn Dance" section from Washington’s
Birthday [mvt. i of "Holidays Symphony"] and mvt iii ("In the Night") from Set for Theatre Orchestra
with the Pan American Chamber Orchestra for New Music Quarterly Recordings (issued in 1934, the first
Ives commercially released).
May 16 1921: Ives’s mother finds song Slow
March in the family’s cellar at Danbury, Conn.
May 17 1990: First recording: Postlude in
F [orchestral version] and Yale-Princeton Football Game (Orchestra
New England, cond. by James Sinclair; issued in 1990 by Koch International)
May 18 1967: Premiere: piano Varied Air
and Variations (Garry Clarke [pf]), Sprague Memorial Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
May 19 1896: Ives is elected to Delta Kappa
Epsilon fraternity, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Ives composed for Yale campus fraternal use the choral The Bells of Yale, The Boys
in Blue, A Song of Mory’s, and the song The Side Show.
1954: Death of Charles Edward Ives, age 79½, at New York
City (of a stroke, while recovering from an operation for a double hernia). [see also May 21]
May 20 1975: Premiere: Quarter-Tone Chorale
for Strings [Alan Stout realization] (Juilliard Ensemble, cond. by
Richard Dufallo), at Juilliard Theater, Lincoln Center; New York City
May 21 1904: Premiere: Four Ragtime Dances,
No. 1 and No. 2 (Hyperion Theatre Orchestra, cond. by Frank
A. Fichtl), Hyperion Theatre, New Haven, Conn.
1954: Funeral services for Charles Edward Ives at West Redding home, the
Rev. Joseph Hooker Twichell (brother-in-law) presiding; neighbor and organist Luemily Ryder plays Eventide
("Abide with me") on Ives’s upright piano. Burial in Wooster Cemetery, Danbury, Conn.
1965: First recording: Robert Browning Overture (Polish National
Radio Orchestra, cond. by William Strickland; issued in 1965 by Composers Recordings Inc.)
May 22 1813: Birth of Richard Wagner at Leipzig,
Germany. Ives borrows material from Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin’ "Wedding March"; in Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass., mvt. iii "The
Alcotts") and ‘Tristan und Isolde’ (Symphony No. 2, mvt. iii; Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.,
mvt. i "Emerson"; Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", mvts. i & iii).
1970: First recording: Largo Risoluto No. 1 and No. 2, and
A Set of Three Short Pieces (Paul Zukofsky [vn], Romuald Tecco [vn], Jean Dupouy [va], Timothy Eddy [vc], Alvin Brehm [db],
and Gilbert Kalish [pf]; issued in 1970 by Columbia Records)
May 24 1890: Premiere: prototype of choral
Crossing the Bar, at the Baptist Church, Danbury, Conn.
1948: Premiere: Trio for Violin, Violoncello, and Piano (Baldwin-Wallace Trio), at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music, Berea, Ohio
May 25 1803: Birth of poet and essayist Ralph
Waldo Emerson at Boston, Mass. Ives composed Emerson Overture for Piano and Orchestra, "Emerson" (mvt. i of Sonata No. 2: Concord, Mass., and Four Transcriptions from "Emerson" and used an Emerson poem for song Duty.
1890: Premiere: prototype of song Abide with Me (William Oakley, Bar), at the Baptist Church, Danbury, Conn.
1970: First recording: chamber ens In Re Con Moto et al. (Paul Zukovsky [vn], Romuald Tecco [vn], Jean Dupouy [va], Timothy Eddy [vc], and Gilbert Kalish [pf]; issued by Columbia Records)
May 26 1893: Birth of conductor Eugene Goosens at London, England. Goosens conducted the premiere in 1927 of Symphony No. 4, mvts. i & ii.
May 28 1897: Premiere: Fraternity show Hells Bells (D. K. E. members), at Hyperion Theatre, New Haven, Conn. Ives composed for Yale campus use the choral The Bells of Yale, The Boys in Blue, A Song of Mory’s, and the song The Side Show.
1925: Birth of baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau at Berlin, Germany. Fischer-Dieskau made the first recordings of the songs Élégie and Weil’ auf mir.
1947: Birth of Ives conductor, editor, and cataloguer James Sinclair at Washington, DC. Sinclair has premiered over twenty Ives works including many of the works first recorded on Koch International Classics KIC-7025-2 and Columbia Records LP M-32969.
May 29 1895: Date on manuscript: Symphony No. 1, mvt. i (full score, early version?) "finished"
1914: Birth of Ives’s adopted daughter Edith Osborne (Ives) at New York
City. Ives wrote several songs inspired by Edith: Immortality, To Edith, Two Little Flowers, and Edith’s own Christmas Carol.
1955: Premiere: song Mirage (by unidentified performers, cond. by Thomas Nee), at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, Minn.
May 30 1906: Date on manuscript: chamber ens
Over the Pavements, "C[entral] P[ark] W[est], D[ecoration] D[ay,] May 1906"
1915: Date on manuscript: Thoreau [mvt. iv of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.] "finished"
1917: Date (in 114 Songs) of song He Is There!
May 31 1819: Birth of poet Walt Whitman near Huntington, Long Island, NY. Ives used a Whitman poem in the song Walt Whitman.