Tuesday, January 16, 2007
"...After he went, I had a kind of a feeling which I've had off and on when other more or less celebrated (or well known) musicians have seen or played (or tried to play) some of my music. I felt (but only temporarily) that perhaps there must be something wrong with me. Said I to myself, "I'm the only one, with the exception of Mrs. Ives, who likes any of my music... Why do I like these things? ... it just makes everybody else mad, especially well known musicians and critics ...
This Third Violin Sonata is a good sample of an occasional result of the above kind of experience. The themes are well enough, but there is an attempt of please the soft-ears and be good ... The sonata on the whole is a weak sister ... I began to feel more and more, after seances with nice musicians, that, if I wanted to write music that, to me, seemed worth while, I must keep away from musicians."
Hear, hear. If only I could somehow keep away from myself! If you're in the New York area and you want to hear this "weak sister" please come tomorrow evening (1/17) to Tonic, where Soovin Kim and I will play various Ives "greatest hits" (if such can be said to exist)... or if you live in the Philadelphia area, please come Friday evening the 19th to the Fleisher Art Memorial, where we will play all Four Ives Violin Sonatas in one evening!
If I only had a dollar for every time some small-minded musician (some Rollo) sniffs dismissively when you express a love for Ives! I can bear up under these trials (loving Ives can be a cross to bear) only because the pleasure of playing this incredible music is continuous, ongoing; these sonatas bear up, grow greater with each time I play them, each time I come back and navigate their improvisatory, ecstatic, zany, reverent madness.