Beautiful Music: The “Alcotts” from The Concord Sonata

Charles Ives StampSo much “spring” music to choose from, but my mind has turned to American Maverick (and bricolagist) Charles Ives, whose Concord Sonata is a like a rambling early 20th century novel.

Here is pianist Jeremy Denk playing the third Movement, “The Alcotts,” which opens with the evocation of the first bars of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, as played on an out-of-tune piano in a New England home sometime in the 19th century.

For more about the piece, to give it its full title, Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840–60, you can start with the Wikipedia article, and explore from there, including Ives own intro.

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