Charles Ives (1874-1954)




The Complete Recordings of Charles Ives at the Piano, 1933-1943
Charles Ives, piano and voice

  1. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 1 (beg.) 1933 3:59
  2. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 2 (end) 1933 1:28
  3. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 3 1933 2:33
  4. Work(s) : Improvisation on a passage in Study No. 23, Four Transcriptions from "Emerson," No. 2 and Emerson O 1933 0:46
  5. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 1 (beg.) 193x 2:13
  6. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 1 (end) 193x 2:25
  7. Study No. 11: Andante, etude for piano, S. 99 (K. 3B17) (incomplete) : (Abandoned) 193x 0:49
  8. Study No. 11: Andante, etude for piano, S. 99 (K. 3B17) (incomplete) 193x 1:35
  9. Study No. 11: Andante, etude for piano, S. 99 (K. 3B17) (incomplete) 193x 1:33
  10. Study No. 23: Allegro, etude for piano, S. 107 (K. 3B17) : Patch for Study No. 23 193x 0:41
  11. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 1 (beg) 193x 2:58
  12. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 1 (end) 193x 2:55
  13. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 3 193x 3:34
  14. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 3 193x 3:42
  15. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 3 (beg) 1938 1:54
  16. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 3 (end) 1938 0:49
  17. Study No. 11: Andante, etude for piano, S. 99 (K. 3B17) (incomplete) 1938 1:04
  18. Study No. 9: The Anti-Abolitionist Riots in the 1830s & 1840s, for piano, S. 97 (K. 3B17) 1938
  19. Study No. 20: March (Slow Allegro or Fast Andante), etude for piano, S. 104 (K. 3B17) 1938 1:31
  20. Study No. 2: Andante moderato-Allegro molto, etude for piano, S. 91 (K. 3B17) 1938 2:05
  21. Study No. 2 (end)
  22. Study No. 23 (partial)
  23. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 1 (abandoned) 1938 0:19
  24. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 1 (middle) 1938 1:06
  25. Study No. 23: Allegro, etude for piano, S. 107 (K. 3B17) : (partial) 1938 1:09
  26. Improvisations (3), for piano, S. 117 : No. 1 1938 0:51
  27. Sonata No. 2: Concord, Mass., 1840-60, for piano (& optional viola, flute), S. 88 (K. 3A2) : "Hawthorne" (excerpt) 1938 0:16
  28. Symphony No. 2, for orchestra, S. 2 (K. 1A2) : Rejected mvt. 2 (Largo) 1938 1:57
  29. Study No. 18: Sunrise Cadenza (Adagio), for piano, S. 102 (K. 3B17) (incomplete) : Unidentified (improvisation on the Sunrise Cadenza?) 1938 0:20
  30. Study No. 20: March (Slow Allegro or Fast Andante), etude for piano, S. 104 (K. 3B17) : (partial) 1938 0:31
  31. Improvisations (3), for piano, S. 117 : No. 3 1938 0:44
  32. Sonata No. 2: Concord, Mass., 1840-60, for piano (& optional viola, flute), S. 88 (K. 3A2) : "Emerson" (partial) 1943 2:07
  33. Sonata No. 2: Concord, Mass., 1840-60, for piano (& optional viola, flute), S. 88 (K. 3A2) : "Emerson" (partial) 1943 1:25
  34. Sonata No. 2: Concord, Mass., 1840-60, for piano (& optional viola, flute), S. 88 (K. 3A2) : "Emerson" (partial) 1943 4:05
  35. Work(s) : Study No. 2 and Study No. 23 (mixed) 1943 2:26
  36. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson", for piano, S. 123 (K. 3B21) : No. 3 (abandoned) 1943 0:59
  37. Study No. 9: The Anti-Abolitionist Riots in the 1830s & 1840s, for piano, S. 97 (K. 3B17) 1943
  38. They Are There!, song for voice & piano, S. 371 (K. 6B79) : First take (abandoned) 1943 1:59
  39. They Are There!, song for voice & piano, S. 371 (K. 6B79) 1943 3:31
  40. They Are There!, song for voice & piano, S. 371 (K. 6B79) 1943 2:46
  41. Sonata No. 2: Concord, Mass., 1840-60, for piano (& optional viola, flute), S. 88 (K. 3A2) : "The Alcotts" 1943 4:59


The invention of sound-recording devices late in the nineteenth century made possible the preservation of definitive performances played or led by some important composers of the first decades of the twentieth century. Elgar, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, and Stravinsky, among others, left a significant legacy of recordings of their own works. Charles Ives, however, did not approach recording in order to leave a legacy. At least at first, he simply wanted an opportunity to listen to some of his music with advantageous detachment (and possibly to shortcut supplying to Henry Cowell and others variants of his music). With virtually no performances of his important music occurring during the first two decades of the century, Ives certainly had a backlog of curiosity about the sound of his own compositional efforts, and the need to judge them as such.

By 1933 Ives had retired from his insurance business and had largely finished writing his autobiographical Memos. He had heard some performances of his instrumental works (mostly in very disappointing efforts), but none of his piano works. While on an extended European vacation, he introduced himself to recording, at the Columbia Graphophone Company in London. Over the course of a decade that included four such sessions, Ives recorded seventeen different pieces, ranging from the early March No. 6 and rejected Largo for Symphony No. 1 to the "improvisations" that indeed may have been freshly created in front of the microphone in 1938. But most of the music recorded-the Four Transcriptions from "Emerson," the Studies Nos. 2, 9, 11, and 23, and the "Emerson" movement of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.-is related closely to Ives's early, unfinished Emerson Overture for Piano and Orchestra (circa 1910-11)


Universe Symphony (1911-51)

  1. Universe Symphony (realized by Larry Austin) [37'56"]

Charles Ives's Universe Symphony, as realized and completed by Larry Austin (1974-93) for multiple orchestras, in three continuous sections, based on Charles Ives's sketches for his unfinished Universe Symphony (1911-51); presented in its world premiere recording by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Gerhard Samuel, Music Director, with the Percussion Ensemble of the College-Conservatory of Music, made possible by the assistance of the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Charles Ives Society, Inc., and the Yale University Music Library; duration, 37:00; Centaur Records, CRC 2205, 1994.


Nicolas Slonimsky Conducts Ives
  1. Charles Ives - Barn Dance
  2. Charles Ives - In The Night
from Nicolas Slonimsky Conducts History Making Performances