ClassicsOnline Home » IVES, C.: Holidays Symphony (excerpts) / The General Slocum / Overture in G minor (Malmo Symphony, Sinclair) > Review List

IVES, C.: Holidays Symphony (excerpts) / The General Slocum / Overture in G minor (Malmo Symphony, Sinclair)

Composer(s):Ives, Charles
Artist(s) Malmo Opera Chorus, Choir • Sinclair, James, Conductor • Malmo Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.559370
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

When asked to define a masterpiece in music Stravinsky chose Ives’s Decoration Day, a tone poem that Ives later made the second movement of his Holidays Symphony (its first movement, Washington’s Birthday, is available on Naxos 8.559087). The remaining movements also celebrate key American holidays with characteristic verve. The General Slocum movingly commemorates a 1904 boating disaster in which more than a thousand people lost their lives. The Overture and Postlude are early works that nonetheless display Ives’s originality, while Yale-Princeton Football Game exuberantly depicts a legendary 1897 match.


Review By Steve Schwartz,,January 2011

Holidays, newsreels, choir loft, and dear old Yale. This CD brings together several of Ives’s works for large orchestra, from teen-age stuff, to student exercises, to mature scores. We have three of the four movements of Ives’s Holidays Symphony. The first, “Washington’s Birthday,” was, for reasons mysterious, put on another album. Granted, Ives himself was none too persnickety about gathering disparate works together (as in his orchestral “sets”), but since custom has generally placed “Washington’s Birthday” with the other three movements, its exclusion here bothers me.

Review By Joshua Meggitt,Cyclic Defrost,November 2009

Insurance agent by day, arch-modernist by night, Charles Ives’ idiosyncratic, cacophonous works are some of the most exciting and influential of the twentieth, and indeed late 19th, centuries. From songs to string quartets to large orchestral works, Ives’s music veers from the lushly romantic to the aggressively contemporary, his restless inventiveness evident in everything he wrote. Ives was particularly interested in, and successful at, marrying popular, particularly American, musical styles—hymns, jazz and celebratory brass band music—with classical structures, something this set of lesser known pieces for orchestra displays in abundance.


Review By Chris Hathaway,88.7 KUHF News,November 2009

Charles Ives’ Holidays symphony has been a familiar piece, light-years ahead of its time (roughly composed between 1913 or thereabout and the mid-1920s), employing elements of atonality and with several metrically unrelated pieces of music going on at the same time (requiring, more often than not, the services of more than one conductor). Decoration Day, which Igor Stravinsky termed a masterpiece, is described as being edited by James Sinclair, the conductor on this disc; The Fourth of July, which begins and ends atonally (with the famous sound collages emulating several marching bands playing unrelated music at the same time), is credited as a “realization by W. Shirley”) and Thanksgiving as “edited by K. Elkus”. I am not sure if simplification has

Heard for the first time are Ives’ Overture in g minor, probably composed under the supervision of Horatio W. Parker while a student at Yale; the highly evocative, and highly dissonant, symphonic poem The General Slocum, commemorating a 1904 explosion aboard an excursion boat in which over a thousand people perished. There are quotes from what sounds like popular dance tunes of the day, not recognizable to this reviewer. Sinclair, executive editor of the Charles Ives Society, which has brought out several hitherto-unpublished works by the American icon, serves Ives handsomely in this recording. The Postlude in F, edited by one K. Singleton, was originally an organ work of the composer’s teenage years. This recording is highly recommended.



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