Charles Ives

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday at 1 pm, starts the Independence Day weekend with that most independent of American composers, Charles Ives. His music is wild, grand, humorous, poignant, and, at times, ornery. Most of all, though, it is shot through with that very American streak of independence.

In America, small-town New England holds our attention. Whoever we are, it’s our town. The paper’s delivered, there’s gossip at the kitchen table, children are born, children go to school, a choir sings, there’s marriage, there’s death. It’s just life—or perhaps life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the perfect description of this American scene, for American it is, and Our Town, the Thornton Wilder play, captures it perfectly.

American composer Charles Ives was unprecedented at suiting his musical style to the story he wanted to tell; he created dozens of surprising “snapshots in song” of what it was like to be alive in America during his lifetime.

Baritone Thomas Hampson hosts this compelling series of programs covering the history of music in America, and its impact on society. Sunday, August 26, 5 to 6 pm.

Song listings with composer/poet, and performers.