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Ives: Four Sonatas

Hilary Hahn , Valentina Lisitsa , Charles Edward Ives Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $17.75 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 - 1. Andante - Allegro vivaceValentina Lisitsa 6:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 - 2. Largo cantabileValentina Lisitsa 5:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 - 3. AllegroValentina Lisitsa 8:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 - 1. Autumn. Adagio maestoso - Allegro moderatoValentina Lisitsa 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 - 2. In the Barn. Presto - Allegro moderatoValentina Lisitsa 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.2 - 3. The Revival. Largo - AllegrettoValentina Lisitsa 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.3 - 1. Adagio (Verse I) - Andante (Verse II) - Allegretto (Verse III) - Adagio (Last Verse)Valentina Lisitsa12:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.3 - 2. AllegroValentina Lisitsa 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.3 - 3. Adagio (Cantabile) - Andante con spiritoValentina Lisitsa 8:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.4 "Children's Day At The Camp Meeting" - 1. AllegroValentina Lisitsa 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.4 "Children's Day At The Camp Meeting" - 2. Largo - Allegro (con slugarocko)Valentina Lisitsa 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Ives: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.4 "Children's Day At The Camp Meeting" - 3. AllegroValentina Lisitsa 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Composer: Charles Edward Ives
  • Audio CD (October 11, 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B005DWX9YO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,915 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

From the Artist

This disc contains all four of Ives's sonatas for violin and piano. The First Sonata is relatively conservative: dense but mostly tonal. The Second Sonata is split into three movements, each carrying an affective name: "Autumn","In the Barn", and "The Revival". The next sonata aims to "express the feeling and fervor - a fervor that was often more vociferous than religious - with which the hymns and revival tunes were sung at the Camp Meetings held extensively in New England in the 70's and 80's." The final sonata is lighter in mood and smaller in scope than the other three pieces.

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical Ives October 12, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was eagerly awaiting this album from Hilary Hahn and Valentina Lisitsa, and it has certainly proven to be worth the wait. These are wonderful performances of Charles Ives' violin sonatas.

In advance of this release, in recent weeks I have been listening quite a bit to the great performances of these same works by Curt Thompson and Rodney Waters on the Naxos American label. While both discs are outstanding, I do somewhat prefer these new interpretations by Hahn and Lisitsa. It is an overgeneralization, so take it with a big grain of salt -- but I'll still say the Thompson/Waters performances bring out more of the darker beauty of these sonatas, while Hahn and Lisitsa bring out more of the light and lyricism. I hate to use the "a" word, but these are surely some of the more accessible performances of the Ives violin sonatas available.

This is apparent from the first strains of the album, when the first notes of the first movement of Sonata No. 1 are played with a flowing grace, rather than the clipped brooding I had been accustomed to. Or in the second movement of Sonata No. 2 -- Ives' mash-up of "Turkey in the Straw" and "The Battle Cry of Freedom" -- which takes on more of the feeling of a playful romp. And I really loved the performance of Sonata No. 3, which is my favorite of the lot.

Tempos are brisk. In fact, looking through the four sets of the complete Ives sonatas available on Amazon's MP3 site, these Hahn/Lisitsa recordings have significantly shorter total runtimes than almost any sets of the sonatas out there. This is also true for most individual movements of most of the sonatas.

These performances won me over.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Five BRILLIANT Stars. Three outstanding musical talents in a singular exhilarating encounter. This recording has two classical music superstars, American violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn and Ukrainian-born piano virtuoso Valentina Lisitsa, playing four beautifully evocative and challenging sonatas by America's genius modernist composer Charles Ives (1874-1954). The Pulitzer Prize-winning Ives' idiosyncratic music is an amazing vortex of classical, spiritual, and folk influences blending with early 20th Century Americana into his own unique timeless musical vision. Hilary notes the initial difficulty they had in deciphering Ives' detailed, demanding notations, which makes the wonderful flow of these recorded pieces all the more appreciated. Then they took these sonatas on a well-received world tour over two musical seasons before going into the studio: this enjoyable recording is the outcome of that remarkable, evolving musical experience. These are musical marvels with the ladies playing wonderfully, individually and collectively, with fire and emotion. The 'best of the best' begins with the brilliantly-played Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1, especially the amazing mercurial 8 minute Allegro movement which sounds avant garde with 2 divergent juxtaposed lines amid florid conventional beauty. In the Sonata for Violin and Piano No 2, Ives' "Autumn" luminously captures the season, "In The Barn" has sprightly country-dance figurations and "turkey in the straw" allusions, and the calm of "The Revival" movement ultimately is whipped into a frenzy and then calmness, all in just over 3 minutes. Sonata No 3 starts with the remarkable 12 minute Adagio, double versed into Andante & Allegretto sub-movements with "Shenandoah" quotes throughout the movements. Read more ›
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Compared with the plays by Gregory Fulkerson, Hansheinz Schneeberger and Curt Thompson, I like Hahn's Ives best. I think it's definitive. Mr. Giordano Bruno says Hahn's tone is dry and thin; her bowing is agile but inexpressive. I agree with him. And I think Hahn intentionally did it so.

The verse III (Allegretto) of the first movement of Sonata No.3 is in three-eight time and it's gigue like and scherzo. Hilary and Valentina play it aggressive. And they play the second movement of Sonata No.3 acrobatic. I like it.

Not only brisk music fascinates. Valentina plays the complex introduction of Sonata No.1 `LEGATO', though the first six notes are described `STACCATO' in the sheet music. It's beautiful. My first impression of the second movement (Largo cantabile) of Sonata No.1 played by Hilary Hahn was good. Only Hilary's "The Old Oaken Bucket" sounds nostalgic to me. The fantastic obbligato of violin from bar 12 of the second movement of Sonata No.1 is heard only by Hilary Hahn, not heard by Fulkerson, Thompson and Schneeberger, being lost in the sound of the piano.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Incomprehensible August 10, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The title of my review refers to Hahn/Lisitsa's interpretation, not to the beautiful Ives Sonatas themselves! I would definitely go with Thompson/Waters in this repertoire. Or if you like you could get both, just to experience how different two interpretations can be. Normally I am a huge fan of Hahn, but not in this one.

(1) How the instruments sound. My problems with this disk began in the first few measures, given Hahn's unrelentingly fast and wide vibrato. In my opinion a vibrato may be fast, or it may be wide, but it should better not be both (Thompson's is wide, but not fast - it is simply lovely.) As for the piano, Lisitsa turns it into a hammer-fist, while Waters is rich and deep without Lisitsa's aggressive sound.

(2) How the instruments balance. Many reviewers, even those who like this disk, feel that the piano overbalances the violin (this is true of their live performances as well, so it is not just an engineering problem.) With Hahn and Lisitsa, depending on where they are in the score, either you're going to hear Hahn sawing away in the foreground and Lisitsa noodling in the background, or more often Lisitsa, herself, pounding away in the foreground. by contrast Thompson/Waters is delicately, subtly, and dramatically balanced.

(3) How the interpretations go. Hahn/Lisitsa is, as noted above, unrelenting and fast. It drives from beginning to end without any relief, or even the slightest air between the notes or phrases. Thompson/Walters are the opposite in every way - relaxed, generous, beautiful, loveable, and even, I truly think, sublime.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great recording by Ms. Hahn
When I purchased this CD I was wholly ignorant of Ives' works. I bought it because Hilary Hahn, whose recordings are always revelatory, recorded it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by MACLEAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Ives the lover of Brahms.
Hear we do not hear a "brash" or "ugly" Ives, although the recording show much strength and dynamic range (really, other reviewers? H. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Charles Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars outstanding playing
I found much of the music rather repetitious or not terribly exciting, but the performance was excellent by both musicians.
Published 20 months ago by larry j gerstein
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
Hilary Hahn plays the violin and Valentina Lisitsa plays the piano in this CD of all four of Ives' Sonatas. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Tony Marquise Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Four from Two.
*The Superman and Batman
*The Farrah Fawcett and Tanya Roberts
*The Luke Skywalker and James T Kirk
*The Shakespeare & Cervantes
...In my opinion.
Published on September 8, 2012 by QReview
3.0 out of 5 stars Three and a half stars: It's not the performances
It's the room. The recorded sound overall is very dry, although one's hearing might adjust after listening for a few minutes. Read more
Published on July 11, 2012 by A Reader from
3.0 out of 5 stars Marred by poor recording technology, but fine performances
It may have been my stereo setup but in the #2 violin sonata, in the 1st movement especially, the piano dominates the violin so overwhelmingly that at times you could just make out... Read more
Published on July 6, 2012 by Rudolf Dankwort
5.0 out of 5 stars First time I've enjoyed Ives
I enjoy this CD as much or more than Ms. Hahn's others. The mutual agreement between these young performers to channel what they have learned about Ives' feelings works very well. Read more
Published on February 28, 2012 by Arthur Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
I adore Charles Ives. Every instant of these violin sonatas is a moment of sincerity, inventiveness and fullness; but for me as a whole this rhapsodic style lacks form, composition... Read more
Published on February 15, 2012 by rumpelstilz
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave!
I attended a 2009 recital by Hilary and Valentina in Chicago's Symphony Hall and was amazed by their rendition of the Ive's 1st, 2nd, and 4th sonatas. Read more
Published on February 7, 2012 by Luis Ramirez
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