Ives: A Song – For Anything

Charles Ives’s work as a pioneering polytonalist is perhaps better remembered today than his song output, but throughout his long composing life his most personal musical expressions are to be found in what may best be called the genre of the ‘art song’. These range from traditional ‘lieder’ (setting such familiar poets as Heinrich Heine and Nikolaus Lenau), through English-language ‘songs of the period’ (Kipling, Keats, Bulwer-Lytton), to pioneering ‘pop songs in the modern idiom’, often to texts of Ives’s own devising. All show a degree of craftsmanship which makes one wonder why many of these songs are not better known.

Ives admitted to a deep mistrust of singers—their insistence on ‘interpreting’ any given score frequently, he felt, betrayed its composer’s intentions: not so with Gerald Finley and Julius Drake. These peformances perfectly encapsulate a lost world, transporting the listener back to a world where a ‘sentimental ballad’ could happily share the stage with a pastiche on the ‘Battle Cry for Freedom’.

This is Gerald Finley’s first solo recital recording.

Performed with: Julius Drake, piano

August 2005


Ives, C: Feldeinsamkeit

Ives, C: The Things our Fathers Loved

Ives, C: Memories: (A) Very Pleasant; (B) Rather Sad

Ives, C: The Housatonic at Stockbridge

Ives, C: Swimmers

Ives, C: The Cage

Ives, C: The Greatest Man

Ives, C: General William Booth Enters into Heaven

Ives, C: Remembrance

Ives, C: Berceuse

Ives, C: West London

Ives, C: Tom Sails Away

Ives, C: When Stars are in the Quiet Skies

Ives, C: Weil’ auf mir

Ives, C: Ich grolle nicht

Ives, C: Du alte Mutter

Ives, C: Where the Eagle

Ives, C: Walking

Ives, C: Yellow Leaves

Ives, C: The Side Show

Ives, C: Élégie

Ives, C: The New River

Ives, C: Like a Sick Eagle

Ives, C: Ann Street

Ives, C: Slugging a Vampire

Ives, C: Thoreau

Ives, C: Serenity

Ives, C: Tolerance

Ives, C: Charlie Rutlage

Ives, C: ‘1, 2, 3′

Ives, C: A Song – For Anything