Ives: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & Andrew Davis
- Charles Ives (1874 - 1954): Symphony No. 1:
- 1Symphony No. 1: I. Allegro13:08
- 2Symphony No. 1: II. Adagio molto. Sostenuto07:37
- 3Symphony No. 1: III. Scherzo. Vivace05:01
- 4Symphony No. 1: IV. Allegro molto13:53
- Symphony No. 2:
- 5Symphony No. 2: I. Andante moderato05:23
- 6Symphony No. 2: II. Allegro11:19
- 7Symphony No. 2: III. Adagio cantabile08:03
- 8Symphony No. 2: IV. Lento maestoso02:16
- 9Symphony No. 2: V. Allegro molto vivace10:04
Info for Ives: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1
This is the first volume of a new series dedicated to the music of Charles Ives, performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and its principal conductor, Sir Andrew Davis. An amateur genius of avant-garde composing, who experimented with groundbreaking techniques years ahead of their time, the American composer started out with more conventional works – as shown by the two early symphonies recorded here.
Part of the score of the First Symphony was submitted as Ives’s graduation project at Yale University in 1898 but its unconventional structure did not match the taste of his professor, Horatio Parker. Looking back at it, Ives felt that Parker had coerced him into writing a pastiche-based work in order to help him achieve his degree. Although the most conservative of Ives’s symphonies, it was first performed only in 1953, after the premiere of the Third, in 1946, and the Second, in 1951.
The premiere of the Second Symphony was given by the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein on Washington’s birthday, and this momentous event in the overdue discovery of Ives’s music matched the nationalistic nature of the piece itself, described by the New York Times at the time as ‘rudely, tenderly, fantastically and cantankerously Yankee’.
Exclusive to Chandos, Sir Andrew Davis is the conductor in many of our bestselling recordings – among them, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (CHSA5140(2)) and Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending, with Tasmin Little (CHAN10796) – and has already recorded two highly praised albums with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
"Davis sifts the composer’s complexities with clarity." (Financial Times)
"The Melbourne performers rate highly and anyone wanting the first two symphonies together encapsulating early Ives can hardly do better." (Gramophone Magazine)
"Davis and the orchestra capture the energy and moments of naughty-boy wildness in [the Second Symphony] right up to the piled-up dissonance of the final chord, always remembering that both symphonies are fundamentally cut from traditional musical cloth. It’s a promising start to the series, though the music will become more interesting as it goes on." (The Guardian)
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Sir Andrew Davis
Maestro Davis is conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (having previously served as principal conductor), conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having previously had the longest tenure as chief conductor since BBCSO founder Sir Adrian Boult) and former music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Sir Andrew serves as artistic advisor to the Besançon International Music Festival and is president of the jury for that festival’s 52nd International Competition for Young Conductors.
In the 2011-2012 season Maestro Davis conducts Boris Godunov, Ariadne auf Naxos, and The Magic Flute at Lyric Opera of Chicago. His engagements elsewhere in 2011-12 include the Besançon Festival, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra,the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera (Don Giovanni), BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company (Eine florentinische Tragödie and Gianni Schicchi), Santa Fe Opera (Arabella), the Bergen Festival (La damnation de Faust), and the opening of the Edinburgh Festival. In addition, Sir Andrew will spend several weeks recording for Chandos Records with various orchestras.
In the 2010-11 season Sir Andrew conducted The Mikado (new production), The Girl of the Golden West, and Lohengrin at Lyric Opera of Chicago. He was seen on the podium with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Sir Andrew also returned to the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Proms in London and to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he led performances of his own new orchestration of Handel’s Messiah. Maestro Davis made return appearances with the Metropolitan Opera (Capriccio), the Canadian Opera Company (Ariadne auf Naxos), the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Peter Grimes), and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Rusalka).
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Davis has led concerts at the Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S., and Europe. He has conducted all of the world’s major orchestras, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw, as well as at opera houses and festivals throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and the Bayreuth Festival.
Maestro Davis has a massive discography on the Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics International, Capriccio, EMI, and CBS labels, among others. Sir Andrew currently records exclusively for Chandos Records. His first Chandos recording, Elgar’s “Crown of India,” was released in 2010. His recordings of Holst’s “Beni Mora,” “Japanese Suite,” and “The Planets,” and of York Bowen’s Symphonies No. 1 and 2 with the BBC Philharmonic; and of Delius’s “Appalachia” and “Song of the High Hills” with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, were issued in the first half of 2011.
In 2008, Sir Andrew released Elgar’s Violin Concertos, featuring violinist James Ehnes and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra (Onyx Classics), which won Gramophone’s coveted “Best of Category – Concerto” Award. Recordings in 2007 included Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with violinist Min-Jyn Kim and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Sony); a solo recital of operatic favorites sung by soprano Nicole Cabell with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Decca), which in 2008 won the Solti Prize from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique; and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with pianist Yundi Li and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon).
In 1992, Maestro Davis was created a Commander of the British Empire for his services to British music, and in 1999 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. In 1991, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society/Charles Heidsieck Music Award.
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Maestro Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janácek, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers’ works.
Maestro Davis and his wife, soprano Gianna Rolandi, reside in Chicago where she is the director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
This album contains no booklet.