Charles Ives: Songs Vol. IV



The Complete Songs of Charles Ives


Vol. IV




Dora Ohrenstein






Phillip Bush






Mary Ann Hart


mezzo soprano




Dennis Helmrich






Paul Sperry






Irma Vallecillo






William Sharp






Steven Blier








The Songs of Charles Edward Ives




Charles Ives (1874-1954) was a prolific composer of orchestral, instrumental, and vocal music. He composed more songs than any other type of music. In four volumes, four singers accompanied by their individual pianists, present over 150 songs chronologically, the first recording of the complete songs of Charles Ives. Ives authorized transposition of them, so they can be sung by all voices. This amazing body of work from a musician who was also an inventive and successful insurance executive, span the thirty-five years of Ives's compositional life, mirroring the many facets of his character: tenderness, humor, disapproval of hypocrisy and sham, nostalgia, Americanism, Yankeeism, religion, socialism, love of nature.




Some of the songs are extremely difficult; others are simpler; few can be picked up and read right off. They resemble a workshop filled with Ives's ideas, fragmentary or extended. Most were published in 114 Songsthe book compiled, published, and distributed at Ives's own expense in 1922; others were composed "post-114," among them Peaks, Yellow Leaves, The One Way, A Sea Dirge, and In the Mornin'.




With this fourth and final volume, it is appropriate to contemplate the similarities and changes as Ives moved from the songs of his youth to those of his mature years. Preoccupation with his New England boyhood in Danbury, Connecticut and with his innovative bandmaster father, George Ives, remained with Ives throughout his life. His songs continued to be deeply nostalgic, but fewer are traditional in subject, text, and musical treatment. Only La Fède, a short song in Italian, and translated texts of early Italian poets for August, September, and December give a nod to 19th century European lieder, an influence left over from Ives's Yale studies with Horatio Parker. However, these old-world texts are hardly treated in a traditional art song manner. They have no formal structure, the flow of sound is continuous, there is little rhythmic delineation, and the performer is given more freedom than in the past. For example, the unbarred score for December bears a note to the performer: "Measures may be marked off to suit the taste."




Fewer of the mature songs are direct imitations of the popular 19th century parlor song. The old-fashioned sweetness of Cradle Song and the straightforward vigor of The Greatest Man hark back to that genre, as does the look back at boyhood heard in the lively Side Show and at old tunes in On the Counter, in which "Auld Lang Syne" is quoted at the end. The lyrical Evening, and the charming Two Little Flowers derive from the parlor song, but they are transmitted so genuinely and directly to the listener, and with such touches of originality, as to save them from overt sentimentality. The One Way, with a text by Ives set to a lilting tune that begins, "Here are things you've heard before." is a touch of Ives tongue-in-cheek humor that led him to use the innocent parlor song, followed by a lively march tune, while the words are critical of the establishment. The full title, inscribed on a manuscript copy, reveals the complete title: The One Way/The True Philosophy of all Nice Conservatories of Music& Nice "Mus.Doc's" "IMBCDGODAMLILY".




Ives continued to be attached to hymns and gospel song, exemplified in The Collection, and the moving harmonization of the traditional gospel song, In the Mornin'. Hymn is an Ivesian tribute to a hymn admired by Oliver Wendell Holmes and Emerson. Many of these songs propel the listener back in time, so that "the centuries blend and blur" (from the text of the unusual song Grantchester).




Several of the later songs bring to fruition experiments that were tentative in the earlier pieces. As Ives grew older, his increasing concerns with mortality, life and death, and memory increased his interest in the element of time in music. Ives explored the loosening of rhythms from the measured beat (The Innate and Premonitions are mostly unbarred), shifting and eluded beats, unusual time signatures, or none at all (August), and quick changes from measure to measure (The White Gulls). In Serenity Ives achieved a kind of suspension of time that is different from his other songs: the vocal line moves between a few tones in a single octave, and the piano part consists of two fixed chords that change only at the end. With an economy of tightly controlled material, Ives reaches a musical equivalent of the state of "serenity." His sensitivity to text and to individual words is extraordinary. In Serenity, for example, he places a slight hesitation, first before the word "love," and later preceding "peace," imbuing these words with a subtle emphasis.




Ives became a master at distilling his feelings into very brief songs. The eight-measure Remembrance is a tribute to his father deriving from the chamber orchestra piece The Pond. It incorporates the essence of Ives's nostalgia. When the piano breaks forth with sudden brilliant chords and the voice holds on to the words, "father's song," the open ending is all the more powerful against the quiet of what came before. Another short song is Resolution,


described by the Ives scholar and performer, John Kirkpatrick, as one of Ives's "visionary songs." Maple Leaves, short but very complex in its chromaticism, uses maple leaves as a metaphor for life's losses ("The most are gone now"). This song is remarkable in its range of musical interest and innovation, yet the result is overwhelmingly moving and tender.




A master at bringing a time and place instantly alive, Ives does so in Ann Street. In a few measures the listener is transported to that "rather short street, Ann Street." A one-liner that demonstrates Ives's quirky sense of humor is 1,2,3. A rapid runaway piano segment leads to: "Why doesn't 1,2,3 seem to appeal to a Yankee as much as 1,2!"




In his literary as well as musical writings, Ives revealed the depth of his passion for a wide range of humanity. Indians is an unusually sympathetic view of the tragic destiny of native Americansnot a fashionable subject for a composer in 1921. The diversity of musical styles in The Majority reflects the depth and variety of Ives's concern for humanity ("The Masses" is the subtitle of his own text). That this unusual and powerful song was important to Ives is shown by the fact that he placed it first in 114 Songs. It was intended to be sung by either single voice or unison chorus. The dissonant tone clusters that comprise the piano introduction and appear again at the end of the song require a second pianist. The effect is not of novelty but of substance and grandeur. Later, Ives wrote an essay on socialism, also titled The Majority.




Politics and politicians were targets for Ives's irony and criticism. An Election is replete with alternate titles: November 2, 1920, It Strikes Me That, and Down with the Politicians & Up with the People! For either solo voice or unison chorus, the song's angry tone clusters project Ives's bitterness about the defeat of Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations.




Some songs are drawn from instrumental pieces and vice versa. Derivations are not surprising, considering the interrelationships between Ives's vocal and instrumental works: musical quotation that is so characteristic of Ives is most frequently drawn from song sources, both in the instrumental pieces and in his own songs. In Remembrance Ives used a text by Wordsworth for this tribute to his father. No title appears above the song, only the words: "The music in my heart I bore/ Long after it was heard no more." Premonitions was arranged from the third movement of the incomplete Third Orchestral Set. From Paracelsus, with a text drawn from the Browning play, came from the Browning Overture, and the Thoreau movement of the Concord Sonata is the basis of a highly evocative song. One of the most beautiful of Ives's songs is the vocal version of The Housatonic at Stockbridge, from the third movement of Three Places in New England. A vivid realization of a beloved place where Harmony and Charles spent part of their honeymoon. The complexities of this song are far too numerous and deep for this space. They include an open ending and the layering of disparate materials characteristic of the most innovative works. Ives instructed the printer to use smaller note heads for the right hand piano part than for the left, and in a published note to the pianist, the choice is given not to perform the right hand part at all, and "if played should be scarcely audible." Ives explains that it "was intended that the upper strings, muted, be listened to separately or subconsciouslyas a kind of distant background of mists seen through the trees or over a river valley." The unusual independence of the right from the left hand in a piano part is an example of Ives's layering of unrelated material in separate lines to be played simultaneously.




Immortality is one of Ives's last songs. The text by Ives questions, "Who dares to say the rose is dead in winter's sunset snow!" Prompted by a serious illness of the couples' adopted daughter Edith, the song continues, "Who dares to say our child is dead! Who dares to say our child is dead! If God had meant she were to die, she would not have been." Ives's outrage is followed by a serene ending revealing the strength of his belief in God. The hymn tune St. Peter is used here. It appears again very subtly in Two Little Flowers, and the connection to Immortality is drawn, as if Ives meant to say, "all's well" with Edith and her friend Susanna, the two little girls playing happily in the sunlit garden. The song was set to a text written by both Harmony and Charles after Edie recovered from her earlier illness.




If Ives's songs stand as an unusual kind of autobiography, Premonitions, must be considered part of the life story. Brief and unbarred, except for the last two measures, this song was composed earlier in the year Ives suffered a serious heart attack. The text includes the line: "And the song we knew by rote, seems to falter in the throat." Ives's quotation of Taps further emphasizes the premonition of death. Within less than two years from Premonitions, Ives's creative life ended.




Why a composer's creativity suddenly ceases remains a mystery. With Ives, perhaps poor health and overexertion contributed to his sense that he could not write music any longer. Ives was in poor health, but he lived for more than thirty years after he stopped composing. The Ives oeuvre is substantial, and his output in songs alone is richer and more fulsome by far than might be expected from any career, let alone a curtailed one. This four volume set of the complete songs of Charles Ives is a major contribution toward the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of one of the greatest song collections in the history of music.




Vivian Perlis










the innate (1916)




Voices live in every finite being,


Often in divine silence


Hear them!


Hear them in you! in others!


They sense truth deep in all life,


They know the things


true pilgrims stand for.


Stand out!


Come to Him


without the things the world brings;


Come to Him!


As a child and, as a poor man.


Christians give all.


Christians have all.


Charles Ives






the collection (1920)




Now help us, Lord, Thy yoke to wear,


and joy to do Thy will;


Each other's burdens gladly bear,


and love's sweel law fulfill.




O hasten, Lord, the promised days,


when all the nations shall rejoice;


And Jew and Gentile join in praise,


with one united voice!


A. Kingsley




premonitions (1921)




There's a shadow on the grass that was never there before;


and the ripples as they pass whisper of an unseen oar;


And the song we knew by rote,


seems to falter in the throat, a footfall,


scarcely noted, lingers near the open door.


Omens that were once but jest,


Now are messengers of Fate;


and the blessing held the best cometh not or comes too late.


Yet what ever life may lack,


not a blown leaf beckons back,


Forward! Forward! is the summons.


Forward! Where new horizons wait.


Robert Underwood Johnson




grantchester (1920)


(with a quotation from Debussy)




…would I were in Grantchester, in Grantchester!


Some, it may be,


can get in touch with Nature there or Earth or such.


And clever modern men


have seen a Faun apeeping through the green,


and felt the Classics were not dead,


To glimpse a Naiad's reedy head


or hear the Goat foot piping low


But these are things I do not know


I only know that you may lie day long


and watch the Cambridge sky,


and, flower lulled in sleepy grass,


hear the cool lapse of hours pass,


until the centuries blend and blur in Grantchester,


in Grantchester…


Rupert Brooke






thoreau (1915)


Adapted from themes in a Second Pianoforte Sonata




…His meditations are interrupted only by the faint sound of the Concord bell, “A melody, as it were, imported into the wilderness. At a distance over the woods the sound acquires a certain vibratory hum as if the pine needles in the horizon were the strings of a harp which it swept…a vibration of the universal lyre, just as the intervening atmosphere makes a distant ridge of earth, interesting to the eyes by the azure tint it imparts.” Sounds-Walden




He grew in those seasons like corn in the night,


rapt in revery, on the Walden shore,


admidst the sumach, pines and hickories,


in undisturbed solitude.


Charles Ives quoting Thoreau




west london (1921)


(A Sonnet)




Crouch'd on the pavement, close by Belgrave Square,


A tramp I saw, ill, moody, and tongue-tied.


A babe was in her arms, and at her side a girl;


their clothes were rags, their feet were bare.


Some labouring men, whose work lay somewhere there,


Pass'd opposite; She touch'd her girl,


who hied across, and begg'd and came back satisfied.


The rich she had let pass with a frozen stare.


Thought I: Above her state this spirit towers;


She will not ask of Aliens but of friends,


Of sharers in a common human fate.


She turns from the cold succour,


which attends the unknown little from the unknowing great,


And points us to a better time than ours.”


Matthew Arnold




serenity (1919)




O, Sabbath rest of Galilee!


O, calm of hills above,


Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee,


the silence of eternity


Interpreted by love.


Drop Thy still dews of quietness,


till all our strivings cease:


Take from our souls the strain and stress,


and let our ordered lives confess,


the beauty of thy peace.






on the counter (1920)




Tunes we heard in “ninety two,” soft and sweet,


always ending “I love you” phrases nice and neat;


The same old chords, the same old time,


the same old sentimental sound,


Shades of Haley Smith Nevin


in new songs abound.


Charles Ives




hymn (1921)




Thou hidden love of God,


whose height, whose depth,


unfathomed, no man knows,


I see from far Thy beauteous light


Thy beauteous light;


Inly I sigh for Thy repose.


My heart is pained, nor can it be at rest


till it find rest in Thee.


trans. John Wesley Tersteegen




august (1920)




For August, for August;


Be your dwelling thirty towers within


An Alpine valley mountainous,


Where never the seawind may vex your house


but clear life sep'rate, like a star, be yours.


There horses shall wait saddled at all hours,


That ye may mount at morn or at eve;


On each hand either ridge


ye shall perceive a mile apart,


which soon a good beast scours.


So alway, drawing homewards,


ye shall tread your valley parted by a rivulet


which day and night shall flow sedate and smooth.


There all through noon ye may possess the shade,


and there your open purses shall entreat


the best of Tuscan cheer to feed your youth.


Folgore da San Geminiano


trans. D.G. Rossetti




september (1920)




And in September, Falcons, astors,


merlins sparrowhawks,


Decoy birds that lure your game in flocks;


and hounds with bells;


Crossbows shooting out of sight;


Arblasts and javelins;


All birds the best to fly;


And each to each of you shall be lavish still in gifts;


and robbery find no gainsaying;


And if you meet with travellers going by,


Their purses from your purse's flow shall fill;


and Avarice be the only outcast thing!


Folgore da San Geminiano


trans. D.G. Rossetti






december (1920?)




Last, for December, houses on the plain,


ground floors to live in,


logs heape'd mountain high,


carpets stretch'd and newest games to try,


torches lit, and gifts from man to man,


Your host a drunkard and a Catalan;


And whole dead pigs,


and cunning cooks to ply each throat


with titbits that satisfy!;


And winebutts of St. Galganus' brave span.


And be your coats well lined and tightly bound,


and wrap yourselves in cloaks of strength and weight,


With gallant hoods to put your faces through.


And make your game of abject vagabond,


abandon'd miserable reprobate misers;


don't let them have a chance with you!


Folgore da San Geminiano


trans. D.G. Rossetti




cradle song (1919)




Hush thee, dear child to slumbers;


We will sing softest numbers;


Nought thy sleeping encumbers.


Summer is slowly dying;


Autumnal winds are sighing;


Faded leaflets are flying.


Brightly the willows quiver;


Peacefully flows the river;


So shall love flow forever.


A.L. Ives






from “paracelsus” (1921)


Taken from the latter part of Scene V




…For God is glorified in man,


And to man's glory vowed I soul and limb.


Yet, constituted thus, and thus endowed, I failed:


I gazed on power, I gazed on power till I grew blind…


What wonder if I saw no way to shun despair?


The power I sought seemed God's…


…I learned my own deep error;


And what proportion love should hold


with power in man's right constitution;


Always preceding power,


And with much power,


always, always much more love;…


John Browning






disclosure (1921)




Thoughts, which deeply rest at evening,


at sunrise gayly thrilled the mind:


Songs whose beauty now only lies in memory


Youth would sing with rapture,


sing from joyous bouyant impulse


Knowning naught but he was singing,


Thus would God reveal the range of Soul!


Charles Ives




the maple leaves (1920)




October turned my maple's leaves to gold;


The most are gone now;


here and there one lingers:


Soon these will slip from out the twigs' weak hold,


Like coins between a dying miser's fingers.


Thomas Baily Aldrich




la fÈde (1920)




La fède mai non debbe esser corrotta,


O data a un sol,


O data anchor a cento,


Data in palese,


O data in una grotta.'






the indians (1921)




Alas! for them their day is o'er,…


No more, no more for them the wild deer bounds,


The plough is on their hunting grounds;


The pale man's axe rings through their woods,


The pale man's sail skims o'er their floods;


Beyond the mountains of the west


Their children go to die.


Charles Sprague




duty (1921)




So nigh is grandeur to our dust,


So near is God to man;


When Duty whispers low “Thou must,”


The youth replies “I can!”


Ralph Waldo Emerson




vita (1921)




“Nascentes morimur finisque,




ab origine pendet”






from the “incantation” (1921)




When the moon is on the wave,


And the glowworm in the grass,


And the meteor on the grave,


And the wisp on the morass;


When the falling stars are shooting,


and the answered owls are hooting,


and the silent leaves are still,


In the shadow of the hill,


Shall my soul be upon thine,


with a power and a sign.






an election (1921)


Soliloquy of an old man whose son lies in “Flanders Fields”


It is the day after election; he is sitting by the roadside,


Looking down the valley towards the station.




“It strikes me that


Some men and women got tired of a big job;


but, over there our men did not quit.


They fought and died that better things might be!


Perhaps some who stayed at home are beginning to forget and to quit.


The pocket book and certain little things talked loud and “noble,”


And got in the way;


Too many readers go by the headlines,


party men will muddle up the facts,


So a good many citizens voted the way they always did,


or thought a change back to the reg'lar thing seemed natural enough.


`It's raining, let's throw out the weather man,


Kick him out! Kick him out, Kick him!'


Prejudice and politics, and the standpatters came in strong,


and yelled, `Slide back! Now you're safe,


that's the easy way!'


Then the timid smiled and looked relieved,


`We've got enough to eat, to hell with ideals!'


Some old women, male and female,


had their day today,


and the “ole mole came out of his hole;”


But he won't stay out long, God always drives him back!


Oh Captain, my Captain! a heritage we've thrown away;


But we'll find it again,


my Captian, Captain, oh my Captain!”


Charles Ives




at sea (1921)




Some things are undivined except by love


Vague to the mind, but real to the heart,


As is the point of yon horizon line


Nearest the dear one on a foreign shore.


Robert Underwood Johnson




the last reader (1921)




I sometimes sit beneath a tree and read my own sweet songs;


Though naught they may to others be,


Each humble


prolongs a tone that might have passed away,


But for that scarce remembered lay.


They lie upon my pathway bleak,


Those flowers that once ran wild,


As on a father's careworn cheek


The ringlets of his child;


The golden mingling with the gray,


and stealing half its snows away.


Oliver Wendell Holmes




the greatest man (1921)




My teacher said us boys should write about some great man,


so I thought last night 'n thought about heroes and men


that had done great things, 'n then


I got to thinkin' 'bout my pa;


he ain't a hero 'r anything but pshaw!


Say! He can ride the wildest hoss 'n find minners near the moss down by the creek;


'n he can swim 'n fish,


we ketched five new lights, me 'n him!


Dad's some hunter too


Oh, my! Miss Molly Cottontail sure does fly


When he tromps through the fields'n brush!


(Dad won't kill a lark'r thrush.)


Once when I was sick 'n though his hands were rough


he rubbed the pain right out. “That's the stuff!”


he said when I winked back the tears.


He never cried but once 'n that was when my mother died


There're lots o' great men George Washington 'n Lee,


but Dad's got 'em all beat holler, seems to me!


Anne Collins




the housatonic at stockbridge (1921)




Contented river! in thy dreamy realm


The cloudy willow and the plumy elm:


Thou beautiful!


From ev'ry dreamy hill what eye


but wanders with thee at thy will,


Contented river!


And yet overshy


To mask thy beauty from the eager eye;


Hast thou a thought to hide from field and town?


In some deep current of the sunlit brown


Ah! there's a restive ripple,


and the swift red leaves


September's firstlings faster drift;


Wouldst thou away, dear stream?


Come, whisper near!


I also of much resting have a fear:


Let me tomorrow thy companion be,


By fall and shallow to the adventurous sea!


Robert Underwood Johnson




resolution (1921)




Walking stronger under distant skies,


Faith e'en needs to mark the sentimental places;


Who can tell where Truth may appear,


to guide the journey!


Charles Ives




two little flowers (1921)


(and dedicated to them)




On sunny days in our backyard,


Two little flowers are seen,


One dressed, at times, in brightest pink and one in green.


The marigold is radiant, the rose' passing fair;


The violet is ever dear, the orchid, ever rare;


There's loveliness in wild flow'rs of field or wide savannah,


But fairest, rarest of them all are Edith and Susanna.


Harmony & Charles Ives




evening (1921)




Now came still Evening on,


and Twilight gray


had in her sober livery all things clad;


Silence accompanied;


for the beast and bird


They to their grassy couch,


these to their nests were slunk


but the wakeful nightingale;


She all night long, all night long


her amorous descant sung;


Silence is pleased.


John Milton




immortality (1921)




Who dares to say the spring is dead,


in Autumn's radiant glow!


Who dares to say the rose is dead


in winter's sunset snow!


Who dares to say our child is dead!


If God had meant she were to die,


She would not have been.


Charles Ives




yellow leaves (1923?)




Heart shaped yellow leaves


on thin brown switches


pointing upward like taper


flames in windless naves.


Yellow leaves among the green


like gold coins deep,


deep, deep in old fountains.


Henry Bellamann




ann street (1921)




Quaint name Ann street.


width of same, ten feet.


Barnums mob Ann street,


far from obsolete.


Narrow, yes.


Ann street,


But business,


Both feet.


Sun just hits Ann street,


then it quits


Some greet!!


Rather short, Ann street.


Maurice Morris




peaks (1923?)




Quiet faces,


That look in faith


On distance,


I will come to you


And gaze upon that peace.


I cannot tell


If it be wind you see


Across the summer grain


Or the shaken agony


Of driven seas.


Henry Bellamann




the white gulls (1921)


(from the Russian)




The white gulls dip and wheel


Over waters gray like steel.


The white gulls call and cry


as they spread their wings and fly.


The white gulls sink to rest


On the tides slow heaving breast.


Souls of men that turn and wheel


Over waters cold as steel.


Souls of men that call and cry


As they know not where to fly.


Souls of men that sink to rest


On an all receiving breast.


Maurice Morris




“1,2,3.” (1921)




Why doesn't one, two, three seem to appeal to a Yankee as much as one, two!


Charles Ives






majority (1921)




The Masses!The Masses!


The Masses have toiled,


Behold the Works of the World!


The Masses are thinking,


Whence comes the Thought of the World!


The Masses are singing,


Whence comes the Art of the World!


The Masses are yearning,


Whence comes the Hope of the World.


The Masses are dreaming,


Whence come the Visions of God!


God's in His Heaven,


All will be well with the World!


Charles Ives




remembrance (1921)




A sound of a distant horn,


O'er shadowed lake is borne,


my father's song.


Charles Ives




the one way (1923?)


The True Philosophy of all Nice Conservatories of






Here are things you've heard before,


Turned out daily by the score,


Pretty rhymes you know,


How gently on the ear


They bring a smile or bring a tear,


Do re mi fa mi re do.


When we go amarching


Down thro' life and the Street,


O loud and free must the music be


With (the) tunes to match the feet.


Now a softer cadence,


Now we change the key,


Just to stage a comeback


To the main strain of our glee.


So if you'd go amarching


To Fortune or to Fame,


Perhaps the safest way's to play the same old,


same old game.


Tunes we've often heard before,


Snatches of a dozen more,


Jingles row on row,


When borne upon the ear,


They bring a smile or bring a blear,


Do re mi fa mi re do.


When we go amarching


Down the aisle or the Street,


O nice and sweet must the music bleat,


With (the) time to match the feet.


Now a softer cadence,


Now we change the key,


Just to stage a comeback


To the nice key of our glee.


So if you'd go amarching


To Fortune or to Fame,


The safest way's to play the same old,


same old game.


Ho La! Huzza! Je ne sais pas!


Charles Ives




the rainbow (so may it be!) (1921)




My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky:


So was it when my life began;


So is it now I am a man;


So be it when I shall grow old, or let me die!


The child is father of the man;


And I could wish my days


To be bound each to each by natural piety.






the side show (1921)




“Is that Mister Riley, who keeps the hotel?”


is the tune that accomp'nies the trotting track bell;


An old horse unsound, turns the merrygoround,


making poor Mister Riley look a bit like a Russian dance,


Some speak of so highly,


as they do of Riley!


Charles Ives




a sea dirge (1925)




Full fathom five thy father lies,


Of his bones are coral made:


Those are pearls that were his eyes,


Nothing of him that doth fade,


But doth suffer a sea change


Into something rich and strange:


Seanymphs hourly ring his knell.


Hark now I hear them,


ding dong bell,


ding dong bell.






in the mornin' (1929)




In the mornin' when I rise,


Give me Jesus!


You can have all the world, but Give me Jesus!


'Twixt the cradle and the grave,


Give me Jesus!


You can have all the world,


but Give me Jesus!








Dora Ohrenstein, soprano,is known for her achievements in performing and building audiences for American vocal repertoire, particularly by living composers. She was solo vocalist of the internationally acclaimed Philip Glass Ensemble for over 10 years, and has her own touring production called Urban Diva, featuring works written for her by Anthony Davis, Scott Johnson and others. A compact disc of Urban Diva is being released in 1993 on CRI's Emergency Music series. In 1993 Ms. Ohrenstein joined pianist Kathleen Supové and double bassist Robert Black in forming Bermuda Triangle, a trio devoted to innovative programming of chamber music from diverse periods, styles and cultures. A favorite among composers on the "cutting edge," she has had works written for her by such emerging talents as Linda Bouchard, Guy Klucevsek, and Ben Neill. Other recent recordings are Conrad Cummings' "Photo-Op" on the CRI label and songs by Ben Johnston on New World; she can also be heard on several CBS Masterworks discs of music by Glass.




Phillip Bush was awarded the 1983 Beethoven Foundation Fellowship and made his New York debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the following year. Since then, he has become increasingly active as solo recitalist and chamber musician, with a particular devotion to the contemporary repertoire. Mr. Bush has collaborated with many of today's most outstanding artists in performances throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. He has appeared as guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performs frequently on New York's Bargemusic series, and has been in residence at the Newport Music Festival since 1983. Mr. Bush has performed throughout the world with the ensembles of composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Scott Johnson. He has appeared as soloist with the Houston and Cincinnati symphonies, among others, and was awarded the NEA Solo Recitalists' Fellowship for the 1992-93 season. Mr. Bush is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, where he was a student of Leon Fleisher.




Mezzo soprano Mary Ann Hart has delighted audiences and critics alike with her performances. She has sung with the New York Philharmonic, the


Minnesota Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, Boston's Banchetto Musicale, and has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Her festival appearances include the Marlboro, Connecticut Early Music, Basically Bach, and San Luis Obispo Mozart Festivals.




Using the international competition as a showcase for her communicative powers, Miss Hart won First Prize in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Second Prize in the 1987 Carnegie Hall International Competition for American Music, and top prizes in the Washington International and Robert Schumann International Competitions. Recital appearances have taken her to 26 American States, Austria, Germany, and Rumania. She is on the faculty of Vassar College.




Out of sight (but still in earshot) Miss Hart did voice characterizations for the Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast, and has made recordings under the auspices of the Eterna, Arabesque, Telefunken-Decca, Musical Heritage, Chandos, and Nonesuch labels.




Almost from the outset of his career Dennis Helmrich has concentrated on chamber music and the art song literature. It is as a sonata partner and accompanist that he now makes most of his concert appearances, in a busy schedule which in the last few years has taken him to thirty states, Canada, Latin America and Europe, to stages such as Avery Fisher, Alice Tully, and Carnegie Halls in New York, the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco, Symphony Hall in Boston, and the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, with artists such as Kathleen Battle, Phyllis Curtin, Richard Stilwell, D'Anna Fortunato, Eugenia Zukerman and the late, legendary Charles Holland. A continuing interest in contemporary music has led him to first performances of many American compositions, and to recordings on Orion, Spectrum and Nonesuch. Helmrich is a member of the faculties of the State University of New York at Purchase, as well as the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Since 1970 he has been Vocal Coach at the Tanglewood Music Center.




Paul Sperry is recognized as one of today's outstanding interpreters of American music. Although he is equally at home in a repertoire that extends from Monteverdi opera and the Bach Passions to Britten's War Requiem and hundreds of songs in more than a dozen languages, he brings to American music a conviction and an enthusiasm that has brought it to life for countless listeners. Sperry has world premieres of works by more than thirty Americans to his credit including Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcom, Stephen Paulus, Louise Talma and Robert Beaser. He created Jacob Druckman's Animus IV for the opening of the Centre Georges Pompidou at Beaubourg in Paris in 1977, and Bernard Rands' Pulitzer Prize winning Canti del Sole with a New York Philharmonic in 1983 under Zubin Mehta. He teaches a course in American song at the Juilliard School and was formerly President of the American Music Center. He loves the songs of Ives and has been singing many of them since he began giving recitals.




Irma Vallecillo is that rare pianist who puts a prodigious solo technique and remarkable musical gifts at the service of chamber music. Her repertoire is extensive and spans every style from baroque to contemporary. She has premiered more than twenty works, and actively enjoys finding out-of-the-way pieces from every period. She has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra, the Utah Symphony and the Casals Festival Orchestra Orchestra among others, but in recent years she has appeared principally as a collaborator with such distinguished artists as Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway, Julius Baker, Benny Goodman, Richard Stoltzman, David Shifrin, Sidney Harth, Charles Treger, Aurora Ginastera, Nathaniel Rosen, Paul Neubauer, Walter Trampler, Benita Valente, Bethany Beardslee and Paul Sperry. Ms. Vallecillo has recorded extensively on the RCA, Louisville Orchestra, Moss Music, Delos, Desmar, Orion, Laurel, Avanti and Albany Records labels. She has recently joined the faculty of the Hartt School of Music where she is in charge of building a graduate program in piano, chamber music and accompanying.




The extraordinary American baritone William Sharp is widely known as a versatile singer who has received the highest critical acclaim for his work in concert, with orchestra, in opera and on recordings. In 1989 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Solo Vocal Performance for his recording featuring the works of American composers on the New World label. As a recitalist, he has appeared in major concert halls throughout the country, including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He has sung with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has made numerous appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is a frequent participant in music festivals, including Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Marlboro, New England and Bethlehem Bach Festivals and the Maryland Handel Festival. In 1987 Mr. Sharp won First Prize in the Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition and is also a winner of the Geneva International Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.




Steven Blier enjoys an eminent career as accompanist and musical collaborator. Among the many artists he has partnered in recital are June Anderson, Roberta Peters, Arleen Auger, and Maureen Forrester. Mr. Blier is founder and co-artistic director of the New York Festival of Song, a recital series featuring new works, standard repertoire and rediscoveries, innovative programs, and many of America's finest singers. Their recording of Leonard Bernstein's last work, Arias and Barcarolles, won a 1991 Grammy Award. A champion of American music, Mr. Blier has premiered works by Aaron Kernis, William Bolcom, Lee Hoiby, John Musto, and many others; his repertoire also includes a solo program of ragtime, blues, and stride piano pieces by composers ranging from Copland to Eubie Blake. He is currently on the faculty of SUNY Purchase.






Producer & Engineer: Judith Sherman · Executive Producer: Dora Ohrenstein


This recording is made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Recording Date: September 17-27, 1991


Recording Location: American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York


Photograph: Photo of Charles Ives from the Charles Ives Archives, Yale University.










The Complete Songs of Charles Ives · Vol. IV






Dora Ohrenstein, soprano · Phillip Bush, piano-1


Mary Ann Hart, mezzo soprano · Dennis Helmrich, piano-2


Paul Sperry, tenor · Irma Vallecillo, piano-3


William Sharp, baritone · Steven Blier, piano-4






The Innate-4 (2:00)


The Collection-1 (2:32)


Premonitions-3 (2:00)


Grantchester-2 (2:32)


Thoreau-4 (2:15)


West London-1 (2:25)


Serenity-2 (1:54)


On the Counter-3 (1:24)


Hymn-1 (2:20)


August-4 (2:22)


September-2 (:47)


December-3 (:57)


Cradle Song-4 (2:00


From "Paracelsus"-3 (3:02)


Disclosure1 (1:05)


Maple Leaves-2 (:45)


La Fède4 (1:02)


The Indians-3 (2:00)


Two Slants


Duty-1 (:47)


Vita-1 (:42)


From the "Incantation"-2 (1:19)


An Election-3 (3:34)


At Sea-4 (1:21)


The Last Reader-1 (1:29)


The Greatest Man-3 (1:16)


The Housatonic at Stockbridge-2 (3:19)


Resolution-1 (:22)


Two Little Flowers-4 (1:20)


Evening-3 (1:59)


Immortality-2 (1:22)


Yellow Leaves-1 (1:32)


Ann Stree-t4 (:52)


Peaks-1 (1:56)


The White Gulls-4 (2:22)


1, 2, 3-3 (:27)


Majority-2 (5:04)


Remembrance-3 (:53)


The One Way-1 (3:12)


The Rainbow (So May It Be!)-4 (1:31)


The Side Show-3 (:31)


A Sea Dirge-1 (2:14)


In the Mornin'-2 (2:13)




Majority: Gerard Hecht, Second Piano




Total Time = 1:17:01