Album review: Charles Ives, A Songbook (hat(now)ART)


As with his larger musical works, Charles Ives' songs occupy a peculiar position that offers a bridge between Old World classical art-song traditions and the more demotic, folksy New World modes, but charged with the questing experimental spirit that characterises his entire output.

The subtle, occasionally obtuse arrangements of strings, brass, woodwind and percussion are powerfully redolent of the early 20th century, with some of the most evocatively expressive settings employed on other poets' work, notably the meandering river vista of Robert Underwood Johnson's “The Housatonic at Stockbridge” and the pastoral suspension of Rupert Brooke's “Grantchester”.


Download: Grantchester; The Housatonic at Stockbridge; Walking