Charles Ives (1874-1954)

Three Places in New England: II. Putnam’s Camp, Redding, Connecticut

“During my time in Chicago, I felt a clear commitment to conduct works by American Composers. In my first season, I performed Charles Ives’ Three Places in New England, which was in the program of my first concert as music director, on November 27, 1969” (Memoirs, 168). Also in that first season, Solti led performances of Elliott Carter’s Variations for Orchestra (a Chicago premiere) and Gunther Schiller’s Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee. Solti’s tenure also brought to Chicago audiences the world premieres of works by Marvin Davy Levy, Alan Stout, David Del Tredici, Easley Blackwood, Morton Gould, George Rochberg, Karel Husa, Gunther Schuller, Ellen Taafe Zwilich, Andrzej Panufnik, Hans Werner Henze, Sir Michael Tippett, and Witold Lutosławski. The Putnam’s Camp movement of Ives’ Three Places in New England is an attractive showpiece for a conductor’s technical virtuosity: it conveys the sound of two competing marching bands coming at each other from a distance; the music is notated in two different meters simultaneously and demands rigorous command of an ensemble.

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