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Charles Ives - Piano Study no. 23

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by RichNocturne, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. RichNocturne

    RichNocturne Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,
    I have decided to submit a performance of Charles Ives' 23rd piano study. This cracked me up the first time I heard Alan Mandel's recording of this piece, namely because of the quotation. Anyway, this was recorded at my Master's recital at Ball State University, Feb. 2011.

    All comments are welcome---I hope you enjoy.

    Ives - Piano Study no. 23
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Richard,
    Actuarially :wink:, I really like it! As a physician I can say with all candor that Ives had to have had ADD. With his dad making him sing and play simultaneiously in different keys, we can of course blame his father. At about 1:50-2:00 the resemblence to Stravinsky is striking! Here and there I also hear Crumb. Yes, the quotes are very humerous and have some "jazz" premonitions. The tension of the harmonic dissonance is interspersed with interesting thematic material and juxtaposed scene changes. I think your performance is clean, commanding and totally successful! Thanks for the post.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ives never ceases to amaze, does he. This piece is a true riot, a laugh a minute. Not sure when this was written, but maybe Ives could be called a 'bad boy of American music' as much as Antheil. In any case he was way ahead of this time - an exceptionally original soul.

    Kudos for a totally accomplished performance. I think Ives is usually not only technically difficult but also intellectually hard to get your head around. At least it seemed to me like that when I was struggling in vain with the Concord Sonata (never even once made it through the first two movements :cry: ). The applause seemed a bit lukewarm, as if people didn't fully appreciate either the music or the hard work involved in the performance.

    I see we have no Ives on the site as yet. Are you going to do more Ives ? If not it seems unlikely that we get more Ives recordings, and maybe we should put this in the _Various page. OTOH, Ives is definitely an important composer, so I dunno really.... But if we have to create an Ives page I am looking at you for a bio !
     
  4. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    Thanks, I very much enjoyed this. It's the first time I've heard this particular work, but I think you've captured Ives's character very well, both the pensive and the raucous sides, and play with a lot of energy. There's a couple of things I'd like to comment on, but bear in mind that I don't know the work and don't have a score to look at, so take all of this with a grain (or more) of salt...

    First, in a complex and unfamiliar work like this, you need to guide the listener--let us know exactly what we're supposed to be listening to. Mostly you do an excellent job of this. But there are two passages--around 0:55 and 3:20--where I think I'd like the left hand to dominate, just so I've got something more to hang on to.

    Second, I wonder if the episode from around 2:30 to 3:10 would be more effective if you aimed for a sort of icy calm, almost expressionless, something that creates an even more dramatic contrast with what comes before and afterwards.

    Third, at 1:37 and similar passages later, where things are becoming frenzied, I'd like to hear the left hand driving the crescendo--make that bass really growl! (Actually, it's possible that you did that but the bass didn't come through on the recording.)

    But really, I'm just poking at things to get a conversation going. Thanks for posting this. I've accompanied a few of the Ives songs, but not got around to learning any solo works yet. Things like this might help to motivate me ;-)
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Wow, that is some piece! Great job, Rich!!

    Can anyone please tell me what pieces are quoted in it? The only one I recognized was "Hello My Baby".

    Chris, I think we should go with 'various composer' for now.
     
  6. RichNocturne

    RichNocturne Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the comments---lots of good stuff to take in, so I appreciate it.
    I'm not sure what he quotes other than "Hello my Baby", but there are definitely 2 "folk" song-like things that I heard one with the "march" bass" (around 1:09), and one in the soprano at 2:18...but I can't make out what it is, and neither can the Ives scholars I've read.

    I do plan on learning another one of his studies within the next 2 years; just not sure when I'm going to program it...but the Alan Mandel recordings of these studies are some pretty great recordings.

    Regarding the applause, unfortunately, this recital was on a Monday during school at 5:30, so very few attended it :(

    Thanks again for the comments,
    Rich
     
  7. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Richard,

    That piece is really fun and your performance is really enjoyable. For an insurance man who probably would prefer that people don't take risks, therefore allowing his company to be able to keep its money and not shell it out on claims, he certainly always took musical risks. I've always loved him because of his exuberant "American Spirit".

    Besides "Hello My Baby", I caught a brief "Beautiful Dreamer" a couple of times.

    Scott
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is up on the site.
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    This piece is a true slice of Americana and wonderfully played too. Great!

    David
     
  10. MarkB

    MarkB Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Richard,

    that's very good playing and I enjoyed it. You have recorded a good piano sound as well.

    Any plans for the Concord sonata ?
     
  11. RichNocturne

    RichNocturne Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,
    No plans for the Concord Sonata...although another one of his studies, hopefully in the near future.
    Rich
     

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