Segments in this Video

"The Gong on the Hook and Ladder or Firemen's Parade on Main Street": Performance (05:31)


The New York Philharmonic performs the short composition. Leonard Bernstein explains how Charles Ives was a successful business man and an innovative composer.

"The Gong on the Hook and Ladder or Firemen's Parade on Main Street": Analysis (04:22)

Bernstein describes how Ives incorporated rhythms and notes to create noisy, fun confusion in the composition. "Oh, My Darling Clementine" plays at the end. Ives' music incorporates quotations from the works of others.

"Washington's Birthday": Analysis (06:00)

Ives incorporates five musical quotations in this piece: "Swanee River," "Quadrille, "Camptown Races," "Turkey in the Straw," "Sailor's Hornpipe," and "The Campbells Are Coming." It is the first movement of a symphony of holidays including Decoration Day, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving.

"Washington's Birthday": Performance (10:47)

Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic in the first movement of the "Holidays" Symphony.

"The Circus Band" (05:02)

There are two versions of this composition: one for the orchestra and another that incorporates a chorus. Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic.

"Lincoln the Great Commoner": Analysis (06:33)

Ives is similar to Whitman—both possess vitality and love their country. There are quotations from "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Columbia The Gem of the Ocean," "Glory, Glory Hallelujah," and "America." Bernstein introduces Mr. Simon Estes who will sing the vocal solo accompanied by a piano.

"Lincoln the Great Commoner": Performance (04:01)

Mr. Estes sings the vocal solo accompanied by Bernstein.

"The Unanswered Question": Analysis (04:20)

This composition is Ives most famous composition. The woodwinds represent human answers. Bernstein describes how Ives began a musical revolution.

"The Unanswered Question": Performance (05:11)

Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic in Ives' most famous composition.

Credits: Charles Ives—American Pioneer (01:05)

Credits: Charles Ives—American Pioneer

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Charles Ives—American Pioneer

Part of the Series : Young People's Concerts
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Bernstein discusses and performs the music of Charles Edward Ives (1874-1954), whom he considers the first great American composer. The program includes performances and analyses of several pieces by Ives, including The Gong on the Hook and Ladder, Washington's Birthday, The Circus Band March, Lincoln, The Great Commoner, and The Unanswered Question.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL192733

Copyright date: ©1967

Closed Captioned

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