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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, and Swimmers.
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 Records)

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.