As hosted and narrated by classical music scholar Michael Tilson Thomas, this program travels inside the life and work of early 20th Century American Modernist composer Charles Ives (1874-1954). Thomas unveils a grand paradox at the core of Ives's life: the fact that, although he nominally celebrated the idea of "surviving the assault of one's own success" and "going it alone," these were principles that Ives never really lived out: he made a steady living from insurance and never relied exclusively or even predominantly on his musical income. The program then uses Ives's Holidays Symphony (performed here by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra) as the basis for a musical journey across New England in spring, summer, fall and winter.
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