Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Simms, Bryan R. “The German Apprenticeship of Charles Ives.” American Music 29 (Spring 2011): 139-67.

Ives’s eighteen German songs form an important link between his earlier and later works. The songs demonstrate his wish to conform to prevailing art music trends in Europe while also exhibiting his determination to be original and push inherited musical idioms to the limit. Ives’s German language songs were likely a personal project, influenced by his previous composition of sentimental ballads. His rich harmonic language in these sentimental ballads deviated from the norms of the genre, an approach Ives continued in his German songs by using unorthodox harmonies, forms, and melodies. His German songs may be classified in three categories based on approximate composition date: 1894-1897, 1897-1898, and 1898-1902. Songs from the first group are the most conservative and are most similar to sentimental ballads. Those from the second group use poems that were associated with earlier settings by European composers and thus invite direct comparison with the European masters. Songs from the third group continue the ideas Ives initiated in the second group and use increased dissonance and chromaticism in the service of text expression. A table of all of Ives’s German songs lists reworked and alternate titles, text incipits, authors, and sources.

Works: Ives: Leise zieht (144-47), An Old Flame (149, 155), At Parting (150-55, 158), My Lou Jennine (153-56), Feldeinsamkeit (157-62), Zum Drama “Rosamunde” (159, 163), Du bist wie eine Blume (159-60), Wiegenlied (160), Wie Melodien zieht es mir (160-62), Ich grolle nicht (157-63), Die Lotosblume (160), Mir klingt ein Ton (160-61), Weil’ auf mir (163-64).

Sources: Grieg: Gruß (144-47); Mendelssohn: Gruß (144-47); Robert Franz: Leise zieht durch mein Gemüth (144-46); James Rogers: At Parting (150-53); Schumann: Ich grolle nicht (161); Brahms: Feldeinsamkeit, Op. 86, No. 2 (162-63).

Index Classifications: 1800s, 1900s

Contributed by: Nathan Blustein, Amanda Jensen, Christine Wisch

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