Charles Ives is widely regarded as the first, great American composer of classical music. But listening to his music is an adventure-hearing how a piece begins may not prepare you for what comes next, or how it ends. Knowing one Ives piece may not prepare you for another.
Award-winning music historian J. Peter Burkholder provides an introduction to the composer's diverse musical output and unusual career to readers of any background, discussing about thirty of the best and most characteristic pieces framed with biographical sketches. Burkholder shows how Ives mastered each tradition he encountered: from American popular music to classical European genres, from Protestant church music to his own unique experimental idiom, and interweaving elements from all these traditions in the astonishing works of his maturity.
Burkholder provides compelling and accessible walkthroughs of select pieces, bringing the music alive and guiding listeners to a newfound appreciation of the composer. Ultimately, it reveals that there is an Ives piece for everyone