Twelve Songs by Charles Ives
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Twelve Songs by Charles Ives

April 14, 2009

Also available in CD Format
  Song Title
Songs My Mother Taught Me
Feldeinsamkeit / In Summer Fields
At the River
The Cage
Weil' Auf Mir / Eyes So Dark
In the Mornin'
The Housatonic at Stockbridge
The See'r
The New River
Like a Sick Eagle

Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 19, 2008
  • Label: Winter & Winter GmbH
  • Copyright: 2008 Winter & Winter
  • Total Length: 58:47
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002UK7LMI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,569 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chuck would have loved this! February 22, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Charles Ives' songs are almost always given the European style of lieder recital treatment; e.g., Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and "Winterreise", or even Thomas Hampson and Dawn Upshaw singing Aaron Copland. But, if you've heard Ives himself sing his own, "They Are There", you know well enough that subsequent performances would easily be the stuff of vigorous embellishment. In that spirit, Theo Bleckmann and Kneebody have stepped up to the plate - with extreme prejudice!

These readings are more than mere interpretation, they're a paradigm shift - a hundred-year leap to a place where the traditional roll of singer has gone beyond genre. If, when you listen, you attempt a mental pigeonhole (jazz vocal, legitimate voice, new age whatever) you run the danger of limiting your understanding of what's happening here. What's jazzlike is a sense of being in the moment, free of assumptions about the next few seconds. And from the tradition of lieder singing, Theo sings beyond mere technical considerations to plant a flag; i.e., he claims these songs as his own - inhabits them.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ives would have loved this. There are technological considerations he would have instinctively embraced, especially in light of, for example, his quarter tone pieces. Here the electronics are as integral with Kneebody's conception and execution as the emerging piano-forte was to Mozart. But what of the vocal?

Theo has benefited from being among the late 20th century singers who have changed what it means to sing in a performance setting. In-concert sound reinforcement, and its recording corollary, allow for an intimacy unheard since 19th century salon recitals. Theo makes the most of this; here as elsewhere, his vocals are exquisite, nuanced and often transcendent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daring and beautiful ! February 20, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For many singers, interpreting the music of Charles Ives comes with equal amounts of joy and difficulty. Ives wrote songs that are both technically complex and almost child-like in their enthusiasm (especially when they are about matters either traditionally spiritual or patriotic). But as is the case with Charles Ives songs, they are very 'modern' harmonically and often times quirky, chromatic and demanding for a lesser singer to pull off. Imagine taking all those challenges and still re-imagining some of Ives best songs. The divinely talented Theo Bleckmann and the jazz chamber group Kneebody do just that in 'Twelve Songs'. Rich and nuanced and always compelling, Bleckmann 's voice makes every lyric count and the arrangements put together by Theo and Kneebody pay tribute to Ives without ever being condescending or too clever. A beautifully conceived selection of songs by an American master, performed with absolute heart, soul and respect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love This Disc February 12, 2010
Format:Audio CD
I love this disc. I think the power of Bleckmann's voice is that he doesn't fall back on jazz cliches of singing. He's one of the few modern jazz singers that really make me pay attention to lyrics and melodies. I think if you're looking for jazz convention, then this disc will indeed disappoint. But if you're looking for jazz in its true modernist sense, then this disc is a winner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking February 19, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Theo Bleckmann and Kneebody's 12 Song's by Charles Ives is an audacious and joyful revelation. It takes truly unique and original artists like these to reinterpret the work of Ives in a way that, without dumbing it down one iota, makes it not only accessible, but alive and current to the layman's ear. Thankfully, Theo Bleckmann has never been troubled by such ludicrous labels as "jazz' or 'legit' 'singing. He just gives us the sound of truth in the moment as it appears to him - and this music is overflowing with that truth and beauty.
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