A Charles Ives Thanksgiving

NewEngland Fall

In the early decades of the twentieth century, American composer Charles Ives was stretching musical boundaries. Ives created exciting collages of sound by layering fragments of folk songs, hymn tunes and other music, often simultaneously in different keys and tempos.  The result was a musical melting pot that was uniquely American and anticipated compositional techniques used later by The Beatles, John Cage and others.

Thanksgiving and Forefathers’ Day from Ives’s Holidays Symphony musically evokes memories of Thanksgivings past.  As you listen, consider the atmosphere Ives creates with sound.  Throughout the piece you’ll hear fragments of two Thanksgiving hymn tunes, The Shining  Shore and Duke Street. Is there anything else that gives the music a distinctly American sound?  Listen to the way Ives pulls out all the stops at the end, creating a climax of glorious cacophony and then notice the surprising way the piece ends.  What mood do you feel?

For more on Charles Ives and the Holidays Symphony watch this excellent episode of Keeping Score with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

A Symphony: New England Holidays, IV. Thanksgiving and Forefathers’ Day…Charles Ives (1874-1954)

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About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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