Charles Ives: Holidays Symphony

Charles Ives: Holidays Symphony

Music made from memories

“What is most striking … is the contrast between the ‘homely’ program attached to the piece and the incredibly complex means for achieving it.”

Aaron Copland writing about Ives’s Holidays Symphony

"Fireworks" excerpt from
Holidays Symphony


Ives Video

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Michael Tilson Thomas

Coming of age at the dawn of the twentieth century, Charles Ives saw the halcyon days of his youth fading fast. Not willing to let them go, he invented a striking new musical language to enshrine the feelings and ideals of a simpler time. But many, shocked by passages like the “fireworks” in ‘Fourth of July,’ found his new-fangled methods at odds with the memories he was trying to preserve. Did Ives go too far? Or did he succeed in turning his memories into music?

Examine the evidence to find out:



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