Audio guide

Here are some links to performances of works by Ives that I discuss in Mad Music, listed by the chapter in which they appear.


Chapter 3

•  “Slow March”
It’s funny the Dutch seem to like Ives so much (see also the very perceptive performance of The Unanswered Question below) but I found this simple and unaffected rendition of one of Ives’s first compositions quite moving.

•      Variations on “America”
The classic performance by organist E. Power Biggs, who premiered the first 20th century performance of this work on his CBS radio broadcast in 1948.

Chapter 4

•  March No. 6 for Piano, with “Here’s to Good Old Yale”
A song from his college days, in an incredible and funny performance by Ives himself, recorded in 1943 in a private recording session in New York City


•  March, “Intercollegiate”
Another Yale-days march — performed at President McKinley’s inauguration in 1897 by the Marine Band — that plays off the tune of “everybody’s alma mater” (“Far above Cayuga’s waters . . .”). Here’s a wonderful recent performance by the Marine Band conducted by Col. Tim Foley.


•  “In the Alley”
One of Ives’s most perfect satirical songs — the complete ironic blend of evoking the powerful sentiment of the original (it’s even better than the originals it’s making fun of), while making fun of it at the same time. A very fine college recital performance.

•  “In Summer Fields”
A classic recording by Helen Boatwright accompanied by John Kirkpatrick, the great pianist, editor, chronicler, and promoter of Ives

Chapter 5

•  Psalm 67

Two wonderfully evocative songs of boyhood memories:

•  “The Circus Band”

•  “Memories”


Chapter 6

•  Overture And March “1776”
Another great performance by the Marine Band under Col. Tim Foley


•  Country Band March

“Thanksgiving and Forefathers’ Day,” the fourth movement of the New England Holidays Symphony
I think this is my all-time favorite of Ives’s orchestral works: an incredible journey through the mists of musical memory and its emotional associations


•  The Unanswered Question


•  Central Park in the Dark


Chapter 8

•  The fugue on “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains,” from the Fourth Symphony, performed by the Yale Symphony Orchestra

.Two antithetical songs provoked by the Great War:

•  “He is There!”

•  “Tom Sails Away”


Chapter 11

•  “General William Booth Enters into Heaven”
The incomparable baritone William Sharp performing Ives’s greatest song


•  “The Alcotts” movement from the Concord Sonata
Ives playing it himself in 1943: still the most haunting rendition of this magical movement.


•  Second Symphony
A great performance by Lenny (who premiered the work with the New York Philharmonic in 1951) with the Bavarian State Radio Orchestra: follow the links to the additional parts.


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