Celebrating American Symphonies on Symphony @ 7

Following the Fourth of July Holiday weekend,  Boyce Lancaster had a blog post about “The Great American Symphony.”  We decided to continue with that idea on Symphony @ 7 during the month of  August with our “Celebrating American Symphonies” series.

Coming up in this series, we’ll be hearing from John Corigliano, William Grant Still, Philip Glass, and Amy Beach, among others.

This evening we have the Second Symphony of Charles Ives.  Ives, who was born in 1874, was one of the first American composers to gain international recognition.  He was considered a modernist composer and his music was not performed much during his lifetime, but now he is one of the great American originals.

The Second Symphony was completed in 1901 and is a kind of hybrid of traditional symphonic form and the more adventurous departures from tradition to come.  The finale is full of high spirits and quotes from American folk music, leading to a final dissonant chord to flout convention.

Above is the last movement with the famous dissonant final chord.