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YMMV / Charles Ives

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  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Ives, who could be aggressively anti-intellectual and contrarian and who was fond of pouring scorn on anything he regarded as 'sissy', may have come to think this in later years. When composer Elliott Carter was a young man he used to visit Ives, who'd sold insurance to Carter's family. On at least one of these occasions he found Ives sitting with his old manuscripts, apparently inserting random discords into them to make them sound more avant-garde-ish. Carter was shocked by this.
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  • Vindicated by History: A textbook example: his music was largely ignored and unperformed during his lifetime in spite of some high-profile composers (Arnold Schoenberg, Henry Cowell, Bernard Herrmann) singing praises of his work. In fact, at the time, he was better known as an insurance agent who helped fund other composers. After his death, his music gradually gained more recognition, and some of his pieces were finally performed in full, most notably Leopold Stokowski's premiere of Symphony No. 4.


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