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Ives: Universe Symphony CD


Johnny Reinhard conducted the AFMM Orchestra in the premiere of Ives’ Universe Symphony, Lincoln Center June 6 1996.
This is the most important recording of any of Charles Ives’ music for a long time. Johnny Reinhard’s project is the first full realization of his last and greatest work: the most ambitious effort from a great composer who over-extended himself and ruined his health so badly he couldn’t finish it himself. He begged others to help him finish it. None did.

See below to download or listen to some extracts,each is about five minutes.

Collage and design: JR Rost, incorporating the painting Newton by William Blake and a Hubble telescope image courtesy of NASA.

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Download a bundle of four five-minute excerpts from the Universe Symphony (18Mb): mp3 | m4a

Over ten years before we released this CD, having been fascinated for years by stories of this mythical music, Johnny Reinhard decided to dig. He found surprisingly clear clues and directions from the great man which convinced him that the symphony’s final form could be defined. He even received the approval of the Ives Society, who are dedicated to making sure that his legacy is not compromised, for his first performance of his realization of this huge work. The first (and so far only) live performance was at Lincoln Center June 6 1996.

Ives was an innovator. He doesn’t belong in the ‘classical music’ rack. He belongs in the ‘new music’ place. Even half a century after he died. This is extraordinary sound that transcends labels and relates to where we are now. You can hear excerpts from his ultimate masterpiece in streaming and download forms here.

Available as CD (full atomic production with 32-page color booklet with two long articles by Johnny Reinhard), or download.
Total CD running time: 64’47”
Translations into German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Italian are available on this site.

Track listing

Fragment: Earth Alone

1’18”

Prelude #1: Pulse Of The Cosmos

Excerpt from Prelude #1, Pulse of the Cosmos,
Cycle 2, including Heavens Fragment
and beginning of Cycle 3

29’37

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Section A: Wide Valleys And Clouds

Excerpt from Section A: Wide Valleys and Clouds
12’03”

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Prelude #2: Birth Of The Oceans

3’32”

Section B: Earth And The Firmament

Excerpt from Section B: Earth and the Firmament, including beginning of Prelude #3: And Lo,
Now It is night
4’34”

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Prelude #3: And Lo, Now It Is Night

2’33”

Section C: Earth Is Of The Heavens

Excerpt fromSection C: Earth is of the Heavens
10’49”

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