Following the publication of his Charles E. Ives: Discography in 1972, Richard Warren, along with staff of the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings, continued compiling and cataloguing new releases of Charles Ives recordings. These listings, sorted by composition, were recorded in a word document, which had last been updated in 2012.
I was asked to continue working on Richard Warren’s discography in 2017, primarily to locate and catalogue recordings that had been released since 2012. I soon found, due to a recent proliferation of online databases and sound recording resources, many pre-2012 recordings that were not readily findable. These less documented releases include a series of Ives recordings from the 1970s and 1980s made in the USSR by the Melodiya label, as well as a wide-variety of collegiate and pre-college ensemble recording projects of Ives’ music. In all, there were several hundred pre-2012 releases added to the discography, and hundreds of additional entires for Ives pieces that were commercially recorded from 2012-2018.
Furthermore, recent developments in digital archiving have enabled broad access to early sound recordings of Charles Ives’ music, including rare radio broadcasts, live recordings, studio test-pressings, and other private recordings. These recordings date as far back as the 1930s, and the complete database is located at: https://archives.yale.edu/repositories/6/resources/10404. Selections from this database of rare and non-commercial recordings have been included on the current discography, with direct links to the online webpage for the given recording. As described on the Yale archives website, “with the exception of recordings of John Kirkpatrick performing Ives' Concord Sonata highlighted below, for which Yale University Library has obtained the necessary permissions to stream without restriction, all other materials are only available when connected to the Yale network, either onsite at Yale or via the Yale VPN.”
The additions made in preparing the online discography reflect a diversity of ensembles and record labels, ranging from high school ensembles to contemporary music specialists to “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band to major symphony orchestras around the world. The wide scope of recordings not only reflect the broad interest in Ives’ music, but also the sheer variety of genres in which Charles Ives made major contributions. During his own lifetime, Charles Ives was engaged in music made by community ensembles, such as church choirs and town bands, as well as leading soloists and major symphonies. In this way, the breadth of musicians recording Ives’ music in recent and current years represent and continue the spirit of Ives’ own musical life and interests.
As Richard Warren includes in his 1972 preface, listed below: “If any reader can supply additional information 1) on any recording listed, 2) on any recording by professional musicians which has been omitted from the list, or 3) in order to correct any error that has crept into this work, the assistance will be very much appreciated.” Please send communications to the Charles Ives Society via firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Yale Music library, I would like to offer my immense gratitude to the late Richard Warren, Jr. (1937-2012), long-time curator of the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings (HSR) for creating and continuing the Charles Ives discography. Thank you to Mark Bailey, current Head/Director at HSR, for his expertise and guidance, Jonathan Manton, Music Librarian for Digital and Access Services, for his direction in the Yale digital archives, and Ruthann McTyre, Director at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library. At the Charles Ives Society, I would like to thank Donald Berman, President, and the board, for their support of this project, as well as Nicholas Brewer, webmaster, in collaborating on the thorough organization and accessible online publication of this discography.
-Kevin Sherwin, December 2018
Preface to Richard Warren’s Charles E. Ives: Discography (1972)
Several years ago Brooks Shepard, as Yale University's Music Librarian, began work on a file, which listed recordings of the music of Charles Ives possessed by the Library. When the compiler offered to complete the list in the course of assisting the Library to acquire all commercial Ives recordings for the Charles Ives Collection, that file became the basis for the present discography. Pursued mainly in spare time by one who had been interested in Ives and his music for twenty years, the project spanned approximately five years. The managers of artists, the archivists, and the producers of record companies still in operation willingly searched their files in order to help. As for the many cases in which companies or files had vanished, the performers were both gracious and diligent in their assistance. To all these people, whose names are not listed because of both limitations of space and the modesty of those who supplied information while resisting identification, thank you. And thank you: John Kirkpatrick, Curator of the Charles E. Ives Collection, for your catalogue and for helpful answers to ever so many difficult and detailed questions; Vivian Perlis, Reference Librarian for the Charles E. Ives Collection, for constant willingness to help in research; Dean Philip Nelson of the Yale School of Music, for granting funds for publication from the bequest of Mrs. Charles Ives; Amy Catlin, Joseph Fuchs, Lawrence Fuchsberg, and especially Karol Berger, patient assistants, for enduring such horrors as proofreading; Leroy Parkins, for special assistance and for arranging to publish the basic list of recordings in a forthcoming special (Columbia album devoted to Charles Ives; Laurence C. Witten II, Advisor to the Historical Sound Recordings Program, for assistance in the publication of this work; Richard J. Griffin, music teacher, for introducing me to the music of Charles Ives; Richard C. Burns, for assistance in finding many recordings, for sharing knowledge, skills, and records, and for producing and issuing my favorite Ives record: Overtone 7; Columbia Records, for long (since 1939), extensive, and excellent service in recording the music of Charles Ives.
The discography includes information on all recordings issued by December 31, 1971 on which information could be found. If any reader can supply additional information 1) on any recording listed, 2) on any recording by professional musicians which has been omitted from the list, or 3) in order to correct any error that has crept into this work, the assistance will be very much appreciated. Please send communications to the compiler in care of Historical Sound Recordings Program, Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut, 06520, U.S.A.
The discography is arranged in alphabetical order by title of work. The source of titles is John Kirkpatrick's compilation: A Temporary Mimeograph Catalogue of the Music Manuscripts and Related Materials of Charles Edward Ives, 18741954, mimeographed at Yale University, New Haven, 1960, a source from which I have departed only in placing such works as the quartets, the sonatas, and the symphonies under their generic titles for ease of reference. The opening words of vocal works and variant forms of titles used by the composer or by publishers or by record companies appear with references in the alphabetical listing.
The musician who wishes to play certain compositions (their number is rather large) by Ives must somehow accomplish editorial feats, often of extreme complexity, in order to achieve a performable score. Limits of space and of time for research have prevented specific mention of most such efforts; only selected instances of major changes in scoring are noted in the discography.
-Richard Warren (edited by Kevin Sherwin for the 2019 online discography publication)