Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Charles Ives

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Charles Ives, Three Places in New England

The Ultimate Hobbyist Yesterday’s Music History Monday post featured the non-musical hobbies of some of our favorite musicians, from Rod Stewart’s train set, to Courtney Love’s Liddle Kiddle dolls (made by Mattel in the late 1960s), to Arnold Schoenberg’s mania for tennis and ping pong, to Gioachino Rossini’s delight in all things food. The subject of today’s post – a person I’m calling the ultimate hobbyist – flips things around: he was someone who earned his living in a non-musical job, whose hobby was composing music. That person was Charles Edward Ives (1874-1954). Something Different: An Explanation This post is different than most Dr. Bob Prescribes posts in that at nearly 5000 words in length, it is double the length of a typical post. I’d like to think that this is a good thing – more bang for your Patreon buck – but for some of you it will simply be irksomely long. Whatever. I’m running it because aside from being an appropriate subject, it represents something of a rarity: a lecture that was originally intended for a Teaching Company/Great Courses/Wondrium course (The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works, recorded in 2011) that was removed from the course a couple of months […]

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Music History Monday: Carl Ruggles

Before moving on to Carl Ruggles, the featured composer of today’s post, we would offer the warmest of happy birthdays to one of the most brilliant composers of the twentieth century, who also happened to be one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met, George Crumb.  He was born in Charleston, West Virginia on October 24, 1929 – 93 years ago today – and died at his home in the Philadelphia suburb of Media, Pennsylvania, on February 6, 2022, at the age of 92. I offered up an appreciation of Crumb in my Music History Monday post on the occasion of his 87th birthday on October 24, 2016.  We will revisit Crumb in my Music History Monday and Dr. Bob Prescribes posts for March 13 and 14, 2023 (yes, I plan ahead!) when we tackle his Black Angels for electric string quartet. On to the featured event for today’s post. We mark the death on October 24, 1971 – 51 years ago today – of the American composer, teacher, and painter Charles Sprague (“Carl”) Ruggles, in Bennington Vermont.  Born in Marion, Massachusetts on March 11, 1876, Ruggles was 95 years old at the time of his death. C-level People […]

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