Ether Game

Ives: The Circus Band

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: the Memory Circus is coming to town…

Ives was in the unique position of being a prolific composer whose mature works were rarely performed during his lifetime. This had some interesting consequences for his working method. Since he rarely had any reason to consider a work truly ‘finished’, Ives would frequently revisit and rework old material. “The Circus Band” exists as a song for chorus and orchestra, a song for voice and piano, and (in a more traditional arrangement) as a march composed for Yale University. Ives’s method of composing by ‘looking back’ fits very well with the emphasis on memory in his music, both in the nostalgic text of “The Circus Band,” written by Ives himself, and in his tendency to quote older music in his own compositions.

Music Heard On This Episode

Charles Ives: The Circus Band
San Francisco Symphony and Chorus; San Francisco Girls Choir; Michael Tilson Thomas, cond. — Ives: An American Journey (RCA, 2002)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Charles Ives: The Circus Band
San Francisco Symphony and Chorus; San Francisco Girls Choir; Michael Tilson Thomas, cond. — Ives: An American Journey (RCA, 2002)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Ether Game:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Ether Game

Search Ether Game

Ether Game is on Twitter