March Intercollegiate (1892?)
CHARLES IVES (ed. Keith Brion) (1973)
This composition is typical of late 19th-century American march forms. It was Charles’s father, George Ives, who steeped Charles in the lore of bands and band music; from the age of 12, young Charles was a drummer in his father’s Danbury, Connecticut, Town Band. Earlier, during the Civil War, Ives senior, then 17, commanded a Union Army band. “That’s a good band,” President Lincoln is said to have remarked about Ives’s Brigade Band of the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery.
March Intercollegiate was written some time before Ives’s 18th birthday, for performance by the Danbury Band at the local fair. While showing many of the typical march motifs of the period, Intercollegiate is also prophetic of Ives’s role as an American musical innovator. Notable are its subtle rhythmic alteration in the quotation of a familiar melody (“Annie Lisle”) and the abrupt and unorthodox modulation at the Trio.
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