Norfolk concert honors Charles Ives

NORFOLK — To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Connecticut composer Charles Ives’ birth, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival presented a concert inspired by the late musician’s work on July 5.

Ives, a native of Danbury, led a life of incredible success as he began his musical career at the age of 13. He attended Yale University and pioneered the use of polytonality, polyrhythm and tone clusters. He died in 1954 and won a Grammy Award posthumously in 1965 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

The show’s title, “Charles Ives ‘likes and dislikes,’” referred to the style preferences of Ives as a musical creator. The setlist demonstrated his passionate admiration of Beethoven and Franck, and his disagreement with Varèse’s composition.

The concert, put on in collaboration with Yale Summer Music School and performed by a collection of professional musicians, evoked a sense of nostalgia for Ives’ 1890’s American traditional music.

Opening the show was a rendition of “Hallowe’en” by Ives played in the style of piano quintet.

Beethoven’s “Duo No. 1 in C Major” and “Sonata in D Major” were followed by a rendition of Edgard Varèse’s “Octandre.”

Last but in no way least, Cèsar Franck’s “Piano Quintet in F Minor” closed the show.

The numerous artists played to receptive crowds in Norfolk’s Music Shed. The chamber festival will continue with shows through Aug. 17. For full schedule and tickets visit

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