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Charles Ives Remembered: AN ORAL HISTORY (Music in American Life) Paperback – July 24, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

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REVIEWS "Charles Ives Remembered: An Oral History found a wide and enthusiastic audience when it appeared in 1974, and was awarded the Kinkeldey Prize of the American Musicological Society. Thanks to the University of Illinois Press, it is now back in print and accessible to a new generation of readers as well as its original fans. Over the intervening years, the book has become recognized as a classic of its kind, and the current reprinting will surely not be the last." --Chamber Music ADVANCE PRAISE "In the twenty-first century, Ives's stature as America's most profound visionary composer continues to grow. It is so important to again have access to these essential sources which allow us to understand him as a man and as a part of our nation's cultural history." -- Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony and artistic director and Founder of the New World Symphony "A marvelously orchestrated portrait of this utterly singular American." -- The New York Times

About the Author

Vivian Perlis is founding director and Libby van Cleve is associate director of Oral History American Music at the Yale School of Music and Library.


J. Peter Burkholder is Distinguished Professor of Musicology at Indiana University. He has written and edited four books on Charles Ives, as well as numerous articles on topics spanning from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of Musicology, Musical Quarterly, 19th-Century Music, Music Theory Spectrum, and other journals. He has served as President, Vice President, and Director-at-Large of the American Musicological Society and on the board of the College Music Society. His writings have received awards from the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and ASCAP.

Copland is recognized as one of modern music's most important composers.
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Product Details

  • Series: Music in American Life
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; Reprint edition (July 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025207078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252070785
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,163,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Todd E. Winkels on March 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I read about Charles Ives, and I'm happy that it's still in print. If you are new to Charles Ives, I would suggest that you start here. If you have the funds, I also recommend you pick up Jan Swafford's excellant biography.
Why is this book the best place to start? The book is a compilation of thoughtful and revealing rememberances from Mr.Ives's close friends and his family, all personally interviewed by the author. We even get to hear what Mr.Ives's barber had to say about him! Perhaps most moving is the interview with Brewster, Mr.Ives's nephew.
This book is also chock full of photos and pictures of Mr.Ives's original manuscripts.
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Format: Paperback
I have my days when I feel as if I've known Charlie Ives all my life. Of course, this is physically impossible: when Charlie died, in 1954, I was only fifteen, and I didn't hear any of his music at least until a few years later, in college. And even then, there wasn't all that much of it available on LP. But, over a period now approaching a half-century, my knowledge of, and admiration for, the man and his music grew steadily, if at first slowly.

With this steady accumulation of knowledge now at the point where I feel at ease ("comfortable in my skin," one might say) with providing some informed commentary, I suggest to readers interested in learning about Charlie, and his life and music, two recommendations. The first recommendation is that they read Jan Swafford's "Charles Ives: A Life with Music," one of the most superb books of its kind, totally sympathetic to the man but at the same time not close-minded to his "warts" and their possible causes.

The second is of course this book by Vivian Perlis, one of the most remarkable of its kind. It is one of the most frequently quoted resources by Ives scholars and writers, and obviously so.

The reason for its very existence is almost as fascinating as its contents. Perlis, in 1968, had been working with the Ives Collection, and, to quote her (in the Preface), "I became aware that there were [...] people still living who had known and worked with [Ives], and that an effort [...] be made to [...] preserve their memories of him."

Ives died in 1954, in his eighthieth year. At the time of the start of Perlis's project, then, those of his contemporaries still alive who knew him were already well in their nineties. Mrs. Ives (Harmony Twichel Ives) was still alive, but too ill to be interviewed.
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This wonderful book, without setting itself up as judge and jury about any aspect of Ives' life or contributions, lets the words of those who knew him speak for themselves. This collection is the "Great Equalizer" in the pantheon of confusing, derogatory and downright wrong conclusions made by so many over the years - sometimes even from those who build their own reputations by tearing down someone eles's. Along with Ives' own 'Memos,' we will never know him better.
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