Programming Suggestions

The calendar information incorporated here is edited and simplified from that in the official A Descriptive Catalogue of the Music of Charles Ives by James B. Sinclair (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999). Some uncertain information has been resolved to the best guess solution.

Some anniversary information is not assignable to a day. Click below to jump to those particular year-entries:




Some anniversary information is assignable only to a seasonal period and is given here:


Spring1897Horatio Parker leads the New Haven Orchestra in a reading of Postlude in F, New Haven, Conn.
 1914Ives plays Emerson and part of Hawthorne mvts. of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass. at an "impromptu" church concert, New York City
 1915Globe Theater (New York City) orchestra reads Washington’s Birthday (2nd occasion)
Summer1887Date on manuscript: sketch of song Slow March
 1893Date on manuscript: Mrs. Smyth (S) tries Song for Harvest Season, at the new Baptist Church, Danbury, Conn.
 1911Date on manuscript: Robert Browning Overture, full score "finished"
 1912Date on manuscript: Emerson [mvt. i of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.] "completed"
 1914Date on manuscript: Symphony No. 4, mvt. iv, "finished" 
 1923Ives visits T. Carl Whitmer’s "Dramamount" estate (near Newburgh, NY) probably curious about the possibilities of Universe Symphony being performed there.
 1929Mary Evelyn Stiles at West Redding; Ives harmonizes song In the Mornin’.
 1951First recording: Central Park in the Dark, Hallowe’en, Scherzo: Over the Pavements, and The Unanswered Question (The Polymusic Chamber Orchestra, cond. by Will Lorin [under the name "Vladimir Cherniavsky"] with the assistance in the latter work of Dr. Joseph Baroné), and Largo for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (David Weber [cl], Elliot Magaziner [vn], and Frank Glazer [pf]), for the Polymusic label; issued 1951)
 1960First recording: organ Variations on "America" (E. Power Biggs on the Thayer/Hutchings-Plaisted organ in the First Universalist Church, Woodstock, Vermont; issued in 1960 by Columbia Records) 
 1968First recording: From the Steeples and the Mountains and song Song for Harvest Season (Jan DeGaetani [Mez], The American Brass Quintet; issued 1969 by Nonesuch)
Fall1910Premiere: Music Settlement School Orchestra (New York City), cond. by Edgar Stowell, performs part or all of mvt i of Symphony No. 2
 1912Ives plays Emerson and part of Hawthorne [mvts. i–ii of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.] for Yale classmate Max Smith
 1946First recording: String Quartet No. 2 (Walden String Quartet; for the Disc label, issued c1947)


Non-date specific anniversary information:


1822Birth of James S. Pierpont, composer of "Jingle Bells," at Boston, Mass. (He was the uncle of millionaire  financier John Pierpont Morgan.) Ives quoted "Jingle Bells" in Orchestral Set No. 3, mvt. ii ("An Afternoon").
1895Premiere: song My Native Land [I] (Julian Nolan, unidentified voice), at a Yale Glee Club reception, probably in New Haven.
1896First publication: choral For You and Me!, Molineux’ Collection of Part Songs and Choruses for Male Voices, No. 966. New York: Geo. Molineux
 First publication: March "Intercollegiate", Philadelphia: "Pepper & Co."
 First publication: song William Will ("A Republican Campaign Song"), New York: Willis Woodward and Company
1897Hyperion Theatre Orchestra, cond. by Frank Fichtl?, reads mvt ii and part of mvt iv of Symphony No. 1 (probably early versions of the material)
1903First publication: choral The Bells of Yale, New Haven: Thomas G. Shepard (in Yale Melodies)
1915Central Presbyterian Church moves and discards (now and/or in its move in 1929) its choir library manuscripts including sacred music Ives had left there.
1916Lithograph printing of Greinert’s copy of Sonata No. 4 for Violin and Piano, with all four mvts.
1927Harmony’s recollection: "He came down stairs one day with tears in his eyes and said he couldn’t seem to compose any more—nothing went well—nothing sounded right." After this point Ives never started another fresh composition but aimed all his musical activity at revising, finishing, and publishing.
1929see 1915
1933First publication: Four Songs, New York: Mercury Music
early 1938First recording: songs Ann Street, Charlie Rutlage, Evening, The Greatest Man, Resolution, and Two Little Flowers (Mordecai Bauman [Bar] and Albert Hirsh [pf]); for New Music Recordings, issued in 1938)
1940First recording: songs Hymn and The Last Reader (Ethel Luening [S] and Lionel Nowak [pf]; for Yaddo label, issued c1940)
early 1940sFirst recording: Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, mvts. ii–iii (Sol Babitz [vn] and Ingolf Dahl [pf]; for Alco label, issued c1947) 
1948First recording: Columbia Records issues on 78s John Kirkpatrick’s 1945 recording of Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass.
1949First recording: Orchestral Set No. 1, mvt. iii (Janssen Symphony of Los Angeles, cond. by Werner Janssen; issued by Artist label)
1952First recording: Set for Theater Orchestra (Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Stell Anderson [pf], cond. by Jonathan Sternberg; issued 1953 by Oceanic)
1953First recording: Orchestral Set No. 1 [1935 version] (American Recording Society Orchestra, cond. by Walter Hendl; issued by American Recording Society label)
1960First recording: songs The South Wind and West London (Devy Barnett [S] and Mel Strauss [pf]; issued c 1960 by Stereo Age)
1963First recording: String Quartet No. 1: From the Salvation Army (The Kohon Quartet of New York University; issued 1964 by Vox)
1975First recording: song Dreams (New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, pf/cond. Raymond Beegle; issued in 1976 by Turnabout)
1976First recording: songs Vote for Names! Names! Names! (Catherine Aks [S], The Gregg Smith Singers, cond. Gregg Smith; issued in 1977 by Vox Productions) and William Will (Fay Kittleson [A], Patrick Mason [Bar], The Greg Smith Singers, cond. Greg Smith; issued in 1977 by Vox Productions)


Thematic programming ideas: Holidays


Martin Luther King Day     
(3rd Mon. in Jan or Jan 15)
The St. Gaudens in Boston Common ("Three Places in New England"), piano Study No. 9: The Anti-Abolitionist Riots, song/choral Lincoln, the Great Commoner
National Freedom Day     
(Feb 1)
Ives pieces that quote George F. Root’s Civil War song ‘The Battle Cry of Freedom’ include: Decoration Day, Fourth of July, Three Places in New England/i&ii, "Country Band" March, Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano/ii, Three Quarter-Tone Pieces/ii, and songs In Flanders Fields, They Are There!, and The Things Our Fathers Loved
President’s Day      
(3rd Mon. in Feb)
Washington’s Birthday ("Holidays Symphony"); choral/song Lincoln, the Great Commoner
Valentine’s Day      
(Feb 14)
songs Because of You, Because Thou Art, Canon, Dreams, Friendship, In My Beloved’s Eyes, My Lou Jennine, An Old Flame, Weil’ auf mir/Eyes so dark
St. Patrick’s Day      
(Mar 17)
March No. 2, with "Son of a Gambolier"; song A Son of a Gambolier
(1st Sun. after 1st full moon after the Spring equinox):
choral Easter Carol
Mother’s Day      
(2nd Sun. in May)
songs Du alte Mutter, The Old Mother, Songs my mother taught me
Memorial Day      
(last Mon. in May)
Decoration Day ("Holidays Symphony"), Holiday Quickstep; organ Variations on "America" (or orchestra arr.)
Flag Day      
(June 14)
Symphony No. 2; Variations on "America" (organ or orchestra arr.); song Flag Song
Father’s Day      
(3rd Sun. in June)
songs The Greatest Man, Remembrance
Independence Day      
(July 4)
Fourth of July ("Holidays Symphony"), Symphony No. 2, Putnam’s Camp ("Three Places in New England"), Overture & March "1776"; organ Variations on "America" (or orchestra arr.); choral/songs He Is There!, They Are There!
Labor Day      
(1st Mon. in Sept; "back to school")
Trio for Violin, Violoncello, and Piano; chamber orch Set No. 1, mvt. ii ("A Lecture"), Yale-Princeton Football Game, A Lecture (mvt. ii of Set No. 1
Columbus Day      
(2nd Mon. in Oct)
Symphony No. 2, mvt. v
United Nations Day      
(Oct 24)
choral The Masses/Majority, song Majority
(Oct 31)
chamber ens Hallowe’en
Election Day      
(1st Tues. in Nov after the 1st Mon.)
choral/song An Election; songs Nov. 2, 1920, Vote for Names! Names! Names!
Veteran’s Day      
(Nov 11)
songs Tom Sails Away, In Flanders Fields, He Is There!, They Are There!
(4th Thurs. in Nov)
Thanksgiving ("Holidays Symphony"); Psalms (10)
(Dec 25)
Symphony No. 4, mvt. i; Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, mvt. iii; "Adeste Fideles" in an Organ Prelude; songs A Christmas Carol, Christmas Carol (Edith Ives’s), Watchman


Seasonal ideas (music with meaning for a particular season)


Winter:orch. Washington's Birthday; violin&piano Washington's Birthday; song/choral December
Spring:orch. Decoration Day; vioin&piano Decoration Day; songs Frühlingslied, Gruss, A Perfect Day, Spring Song, Two Little Flowers
Summer:orch. Central Park in the Dark in the Good Old Summertime, Fourth of July; orch/chamber Gong on the Hook and Ladder; Sonata No. 4 for Violin and Piano; song Feldeinsamkeit (In Summer Fields)
Fall:orch. Yale-Princeton Football Game, Thanksgiving; Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano; Three Harvest Home Chorales; songs Autumn, In Autumn, Maple Leaves, Song for Harvest Season, Walking


Monthly ideas (music with specific meaning to certain months)


Februaryorch. Washington's Birthday; violin&piano Washington's Birthday
April:songs Frühlingslied, In April-tide, Two Little Flowers
May:orch. Decoration Day; violin&piano Decoration Day songs Night of Frost in May, A Night Song, A Song–For Anything (Yale, Farewell!)
Julyorch.  The Fourth of July
August:song August
September:song September
October:songs Autumn, Maple Leaves, Walking, Yellow Leaves
November:orch. Thanksgiving; songs An Election, Vote for Names! Names! Names!, Song for Harvest Season
December:chorus&orch December; songs December, The Ending Year


Thematic grouping ideas


Children:Symphony No. 3, mvt. ii, Sonata No. 4 for Violin and Piano: Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting; songs Berceuse, The Children’s Hour, Cradle Song, Two Little Flowers, Songs my mother taught me, To Edith
Cowboys:Charlie Rutlage
Ecology:The New River (The Ruined River)
Sentimental songs:Down East, Dreams, In the Alley, Kären, Marie, A Night Song, An Old Flame, A Song–For Anything, Songs my mother taught me, The World’s Highway
Parody/caricature songs:The Collection, On the Counter, Romanzo (di Central Park), Slugging a Vampire, "1, 2, 3", The Side Show, Vote for Names! Names! Names!
Sports:Scherzo: All the Way Around and Back and Study No. 21: Some Southpaw Pitching (baseball); Yale-Princeton Football Game
Marching:Calcium Light Night (Set No. 1, mvt. v); Overture and March "1776"; "Country Band" March, Holiday Quickstep, The Circus Band, March No. 2, with "Son of a Gambolier", March No. 3, with "My Old Kentucky Home"; March in F and C, with "Omega Lambda Chi", March "Intercollegiate," with "Annie Lisle"; piano Study No. 20: March, March No. 6 for Piano, with "Here’s to Good Old Yale"; choral Processional: Let There Be Light; songs The Circus Band, He Is There!, Old Home Day, A Son of a Gambolier, They Are There!
German songs:Du alte Mutter, Du bist wie eine Blume, Ein Ton, Feldeinsamkeit, Frühlingslied, Gruss, Ich grolle nicht, Ilmenau, Marie, Minnelied, Rosamunde, Rosenzweige, Sehnsucht, The South Wind / Die Lotosblume, Weil’ auf mir, Widmung, Wie Melodien zieht es mir, Wiegenlied
French songs:Chanson de Florian, Élégie, Qu’il m’irait bien, Rosamunde
Italian song:La Fede
Religious songs:At the River, The Camp Meeting, A Christmas Carol, Disclosure, Duty, Forward into Light, His Exaltation, Hymn, Immortality, In the Mornin’, The Innate, The Light That Is Felt, Naught that country needeth, A Night Thought, Paracelsus, The Rainbow (So May It Be!), Religion, Serenity, A Song—For Anything (Hear My Prayer, O Lord), The Waiting Soul, Watchman!, West London, Where the eagle cannot see
Water:Three Places in New England, mvt. iii; The Ruined River (Set No. 1, mvt. iii), At Sea (Set No. 3, mvt. i); Swimmers; The Pond; The General Slocum; The Rainbow; Mists; songs At the River, At Sea, A Farewell to Land, Mists, The New River, The Rainbow, Remembrance, A Sea Dirge, The Sea of Sleep, Swimmers, Tom Sails Away
Nature (exclusive of the "Water" entries):String Quartet No. 2, mvt. iii ("The Call of the Mountains"), From the Steeples and the Mountains, Sonata No. 2 for Piano: Concord, Mass., mvt. iv ("Thoreau"); Three Harvest Home Chorales; songs Afterglow, August, Autumn, Evening, Far in the Wood, Feldeinsamkeit/In Summer Fields, Frühlingslied, Ilmenau/Over all the treetops, Maple Leaves, Nature’s Way, A Night Thought, Peaks, Pictures, Rough Wind, The South Wind/Die Lotosblume, Spring Song, Sunrise, There is a certain garden, Thoreau, Yellow Leaves
Love:see Valentine’s Day
Ragtime:Orchestral Set No. 2, mvt. ii; Set for Theatre Orchestra, mvt. ii; Four Ragtime Dances; Central Park in the Dark; Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, mvt. ii; Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano, mvt. ii; Three Quarter-Tone Pieces for two pianos, mvt. ii; Three-Page Sonata for piano; Sonata No. 1 for Piano, mvts. ii & iv; song The See’r