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  • Ives: Symphony No. 3 / The Unanswered Question / Three Places in New England
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Ives: Symphony No. 3 / The Unanswered Question / Three Places in New England


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Audio CD, October 9, 1992
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Composer: Charles Ives
  • Audio CD (October 9, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000003FA7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Three Places In New England: The 'St. Gaudens' In Boston Common
2. Three Places In New England: Putnam's Camp, Redding, Connecticut
3. Three Places In New England: The Housatonic At Stockbridge
4. March III With The Air ' Old Kentucky Home'
5. The Unanswered Question
6. Central Park In The Dark
7. Fugue in Four Keys On ' The Shining Shore'
8. Symphony No. 3 'The Camp Meeting': Old Folks Gatherin'
9. Symphony No. 3 'The Camp Meeting': Children's Day
10. Symphony No. 3 'The Camp Meeting': Communion

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This is a great Ives disc. You get: (1) his most popular "normal" symphony; (2) his most famous "radical" orchestral suite; (3) his most famous short piece; and (4) a bunch of interesting and little-known experimental pieces. In short, this disc is the perfect introduction to the music of Danbury- -Connecticut's greatest composer--a true American original. The last of the Three Places in New England is a short tone poem called The Housatonic at Stockbridge. It depicts the flow of the Housatonic River past a covered bridge and a village church, where the strains of a hymn tune seem to merge with the mist coming off the river. It's as hauntingly memorable as anything you'll ever hear. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Jack Elliot on October 22, 2006
There's something really all-American about the way Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra play Ives here. The very timbre of the orchestra is idiomatic; the Boston Symphony or the Philadelphia Orchestra, by contrast, have opulent, Old World sounds that don't suit these scores as well as the direct, no-nonsense, clean-cut, grassroots, Midwestern sort of sonority produced by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra here. I mean it... it may sound doubtful as written on the page and it's difficult to put it into words, but you'll hear for yourself that St. Louis has got the right sort of sound for this music where other orchestras don't. Furthermore, Slatkin has a real knack for getting intimate, controlled, chamber music-type playing out of large orchestras and sprawling scores. This allows for some really interesting interpretations, and it only serves to enhance the sound of an orchestra already well suited to playing Ives. Add this one to your collection without delay.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Howard Grady Brown on August 27, 2001
The recording is excellent, the performances are as fine as any I can remember. If you have the Orpheus recording, you won't need this one -- and vice-verse -- as far as the two major works are concerned. The pieces are arranged well for a complete Ives concert on a single disc. Highly recommended, but I wish it were midprice like the Eastman disc on Mercury.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Antony Cooke on January 16, 2012
The enthusiastic comments about this disc would be likely to lead anyone unfamiliar with the works contained on it to believe these are ideal performances. This reading of the Third Symphony - one of the most exquisite little gems of all 20th Century literature - is disappointing, sometimes because of scrappy playing or careless reading of the score. Although it is nice to hear Ives' so-named 'off shadow notes' in this version, they should be extremely subtle at best, spacial and distant. Unfortunately they are often glaring and clumsy, detracting from the score in may places. I am not sure that every note that might be taken for shadow writing is that, or just wrong. Slatkin's tempos are often unstable so it often sounds as if either the conductor or the players are running away out of control.

Elsewhere, only 'Three Places in New England' receives its reasonable due, and there are some impressive moments but somehow even here we are left wanting, with balance issues. 'Central Park' is OK, but fails to distil the stillness and quiet of the night, as much here due to the poor recording balance (strings ought to have a spatial placement in the mix) as to the uninspired mechanical playing. 'The Unanswered Question' appears here in its original guise, with the trumpet part ending its question always on a B flat - something that may seem odd to those used to its later incarnation of B's and C's. Nothing wrong with any of this, of course, except again the sound fails to inspire, while the trumpet sounds wooden and in no way mystical. Subtle balance and spatial awareness is again sadly lacking. There are, however, some gems on the recording, such as the March #3, and the Fugue in Four Keys.
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