Friday, January 22, 2016
More than a Survival Guide to Ives's 4th
This video may be on the musicologically wonkish side for some, but I find it fascinating: it's an introduction by Thomas Brodhead to his critical and performance edition of Ives's 4th Symphony. Brodhead has taken an admirable strategy to producing practically usable performance materials that both make difficult passages more readable for individual players, sections, and conductor(s) (it can be useful to have more than one conductor for sections of the work), but also preserves the many performance options that Ives left. Perhaps most importantly, for me, Brodhead restores the precise proportional time relationship between the main orchestra and the separate percussion ensemble in the fourth movement, something that has been basically faked in the past; this is regrettable, not least because with this relationship intact, the prescience of Ives's invention here is immediately obvious.