MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Ivesian Revelations from Morlot and the Seattle Symphony

Looking back over last year’s review, now that the SSO and Morlot’s recording of Ives 4 has been released.

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

page from score of Ives/4th Symphony page from score of Ives/4th Symphony

The last time Ludovic Morlot led the Seattle Symphony in a Charles Ives symphony (the Second), he paired it with Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto (and got pulses running with the Overture to Leonard Bernstein’s musical Candide as a curtain raiser).

I can’t say I get the connections he apparently sees between the conservative Russian and his maverick American contemporary. Maybe the idea is to add still another layer of meta-contrast on top of the already explosively varied mixtures that comprise Ives’ sound world. In any case, this week’s program brings another Rach-Ives pairing.

It was heartening to encounter such an unpredictable interpretation of Rach 3 in last night’s performance (I believe the third time in as many years that Morlot has conducted the work here). Though the previous Rachmaninoff-meets-Ives effort (back in June 2012) had featured the ever-fascinating Stephen Hough as the soloist, the…

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