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Mad Music: Charles Ives, the Nostalgic Rebel Hardcover – April 1, 2014
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"Mad Music is the provocative, but historically and musicologically correct title for Stephen Budiansky's biography of Charles Ives . . . Budiansky has made significant new discoveries about the composer, finding previously unknown correspondence revealing the physical and mental impact of Ives' 1918 diagnosis with diabetes" -- San Francisco Classical Voice
"A superbly written narrative of a life and a calling . . . balances perfectly the man Charles Ives and the musician Charles Ives" -- WOSU Classical 101
“Compelling and incisive, Mad Music answers questions that have bedeviled Ives scholars for years. Ives jumps off the page full-blooded in all of his complexity, contradiction, and genius.” (Tom C. Owens, PhD, associate professor of music at George Mason University and editor of Selected Correspondence of Charles Ives)
Top Customer Reviews
The book proceeds in broad strokes with an eye for telling and important events rather than for microscopic detail. Budiansky explores the key events in Ives' life, including his childhood in Danbury, Connecticut, his college years at Yale, his early years starting out as a young insurance clerk, and his marriage, at 33, to Harmony Twichell.Read more ›
Budiansky's revelation that Ives was diagnosed with diabetes in 1918--thus, it was NOT "neurasthenia," NOT "mental disorders"--and seems to tie everything together in the later years, even the earlier ones, too. Ives emerges as monumentally great--a living, breathing human being, who just happened to be infinitely more gifted than the average genius, and much more of a humanitarian, to boot. He should be treated sympathetically, rather than judged in ways no one would impose on anyone else. How would his tormentors like to be treated were they in his shoes? Since there can be no doubt that Budiansky reveres this great figure and composer, his gentle treatment of Ives's tormentors would seem to indicate that he knows the seeds of truth ultimately will take care of everything. Recommended.