Symphony No. 1 (Ives)

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Charles Ives's Symphony No. 1 in D minor, written between 1898 and 1902, is an example of how Ives synthesized ideas from composers who came before him. Many of his later symphonies relied on Protestant hymns as the main theme. However, this symphony is composed in the late-Romantic European tradition, and is believed to contain many paraphrases from famous European pieces such as Tchaikovsky's Pathétique and Schubert's Unfinished symphonies and especially Dvořák's New World Symphony.

The piece is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani and strings. There is also an optional part for a third flute.

There are four movements:

A typical performance lasts 35–37 minutes.


In general, since the work lasts about 50 minutes, leaving 30 minutes on a CD, it is usually paired with either No. 2 or No. 4. For example, the Hyperion Records CD by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton also includes Symphony No. 4 and Central Park in the Dark. The Naxos Records CD of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Sinclair includes instead the "Emerson" Concerto.