Summer 1955 • Vol. XVII No. 3 A CommunicationJuly 1, 1955 |

The Music of Charles Ives

Sirs: Robert Evett's "A Post-mortem for Mr. Ives" was not only harsh ("a composer whoring after novelty") and offensive (Ives "smelled like Whitman's armpits"), but also heedless of truth. I do not speak of critical judgments, which may legitimately differ, but of facts, which are a matter of record. It is simply not true, for example, that "Most of the music for which Ives is famous . . . has never been heard, and probably never will be." On the contrary, with the exception of some movements of the Fourth Symphony, all the music for which Ives is famous has been heard, and he is famous precisely because it has been heard. Mr. Evett mentions the Third Symphony and the Fourth Sonata for violin and piano, but there are many other works that have contributed to Ives's fame. Prominent among them is the Second Piano Sonata, called Concord Sonata, with its musical impressions of Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcotts, and Thoreau. As early as 1920, single movements of this sonata were pl

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