Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Brodhead, Thomas M. "Ives's Celestial Railroad and His Fourth Symphony." American Music 12 (Winter 1994): 389-424.

About half the music of "Hawthorne," the second movement of Ives's Second Piano Sonata, Concord, Mass., 1840-60, also appears in The Celestial Railroad, a "Phantasy" for solo piano, and virtually all of the latter appears in the second movement of his Fourth Symphony. In Memos, Ives wrote that the sonata was written first, then the symphony movement, and then The Celestial Railroad. An examination of his manuscripts suggests a different order, in which The Celestial Railroad was adapted from "Hawthorne" and then was used in turn as the basis for the symphony movement. All three works have a common root in the abandoned "Hawthorne" Piano Concerto, conceived between 1910 and 1916 as part of Ives's planned "Men of Literature" series. The "Hawthorne" Concerto was reworked as the sonata movement. In the early 1920s, Ives was working on a "Concord" suite for piano, derived from the sonata. Four Transcriptions from "Emerson" recasts material from the first movement, and The Celestial Railroad, using material from "Hawthorne," was intended to be the second section of the suite. Clippings from the published score of the sonata appear in the manuscript of The Celestial Railroad. Ives worked on it in stages, affixing new patches with revisions onto the manuscript. The final stages correspond to material as presented in the Fourth Symphony movement. Thus Ives worked out the material in detail for The Celestial Railroad, then orchestrated the work for his Fourth Symphony. Because The Celestial Railroad predates the second movement of the Fourth Symphony, the program of the piano work--a short story by Hawthorne--may be used to interpret the narrative of the symphonic movement.

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Elizabeth Bergman

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