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Laurie Niles

Hilary Hahn's Ives Sonatas CD giveaway this week on

October 11, 2011 at 3:42 AM

Charles Ives wrote four violin sonatas, and Hilary Hahn and pianist Valentina Lisitsa make a strong argument that we ought to be playing, programming and studying these pieces more often with their release this week of Ives: Four Sonatas. For me the sonatas fall pleasingly in between being Romantic and being hard-core 20th c. (like, sorry, Schoenberg). It makes sense, given the time they were written and Charles Ives' life (1874-1954). Ives was the son of a band leader with some mad ideas about harmony, he was a church organist from the age 14, and he made his living as an insurance agent -- he was less part of the musical in-crowd during the early 20th c. His music goes its own way, occasionally happening on a church hymn, or going on a rhythmically asymmetrical romp. A cross-eyed, bitonal march might slide into an almost cheesy, Rachmaninov-like harmony. Yet it all tends to favor the violin's most melodious qualities. It's full of interesting discoveries, and I find it grows on me.

Happily, Hilary Hahn has given us three of these CDs to give to members this week; we'll have new questions on Wednesday and Friday. To enter to win, please go here:

From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 13, 2011 at 2:25 AM

 Congratulations to Aaron Smith of Omaha, Neb., who won the first CD! The next question is up, so enter to win!

From Laurie Niles
Posted on October 14, 2011 at 9:04 PM

 Congratulations to Sam Choi of Buena Park, Cal., who won the second CD! The new question is up, if you'd like to take another try at winning!

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