Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Hertz, David Michael. “Ives’s Concord Sonata and the Texture of Music.” In Charles Ives and His World, ed. J. Peter Burkholder, 75-117. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.

A comparison of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata with his Essays Before a Sonata shows shifts in Ives’s compositional practice from a patterned linearity of German classicism to coloristic explorations of the Romantic form and new models based on perception. Ives’s innovations, including cumulative form, sonic exuviation, and a mixing of voices (heteroglossia), have European precursors. The Concord Sonata can be interpreted as a further development of the virtuosic piano works by several European composers, a piece where Ives pushed the boundaries of form and sound while simultaneously breaking from earlier European models. The use of cumulative form in the Concord Sonata shows Ives’s rejection of the strict European sonata form; it can be seen also as a move toward psycho-perceptual models possibly derived from Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor. In addition, the use of stylistic traits such as the development and manipulation of motives and the modeling of visual sound, found in the solo piano works of Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, and Scriabin, indicates Ives’s stylistic competency in canonic solo piano repertoire. Ives’s Essays Before a Sonata, published together with the Concord Sonata, offers an Emersonian insight into the potential method and purpose of the sonata. Historically and aesthetically speaking, Ives is similar to American poets Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and an understanding of the poetics and ideology of these literary figures is necessary for understanding Ives’s own ideology and musical innovations.

Works: Ives: Piano Sonata No. 2 (Concord, Mass., 1840-60) (75-117), Violin Sonata No. 3 (81), The Unanswered Question (87).

Sources: Beethoven: Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 106 (Hammerklavier) (82, 84, 86-87, 92, 102, 114), Symphony No. 5 in C Minor (82-84, 91, 95-99, 102); Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor (82, 88-90, 92-93, 96-99, 102); Charles Zeuner: Missionary Chant (83, 85, 94, 114-15); Simeon B. Marsh: Martyn (83, 85, 87, 94, 114); Stephen Foster: Massa’s in de Cold Ground (94, 114); Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 (100), Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52 (100), Étude in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 12 (Revolutionary) (100-101), Piano Sonata in B-flat Minor, Op. 35 (100), Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op. 58 (103), Prelude in G Major, Op. 28, No. 3 (100); Debussy: Arabesques (103), Estampes (103), Images (103-5), L’isle joyeuse (104-5), Des pas sur la neige (104), Bruyères (104), Etudes, Book 2, No. 11 (“Pour les arpèges composes”) (107); Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 5 (107-8), Piano Sonata No. 8 (107, 109), Piano Sonata No. 10 (109-11).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Christine Wisch

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