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United States Music

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Author Topic: United States Music  (Read 29625 times)
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« Reply #60 on: March 07, 2013, 03:43:56 pm »

I've just posted a rarity in the Downloads folder -- a symphony by American composer Chester Ide (1878-1944). There is precious little information easily obtainable about him, and I haven't been able to discover the date of composition of the symphony.

Here is his obituary, from the Chateaugay Record of April 7, 1944. Chateaugay is a small town in northernmost New York State directly to the Canadian border.

  Chester Edward Ide, composer and resident of Perryridge Road, died at Greenwich Hospital Saturday afternoon after a brief illness. He was 67 years of age.
  Mr. Ide was born in Springfield, Ill., in 1878 and received his musical training at the Royal Academy in London under Ebenezer Prout, Frederick Corder, and F. W. Davenport. He returned to the U. S. in 1913 to teach piano and harmony.
  A prolific composer, he numbered among his larger compositions a Sonata for Piano, String Quartet, Symphony in A Minor, Suite for Small Orchestra and the "Autumn Songs" for soprano and orchestra.
  Mr. Ide also composed many works for children's productions, all characterised by a freshness and fantasy that made them irresistibly appealing not only the the children for whom they were written, but also to adults. "The Piper," "Bag's Christmas" and "The River Nile" were only a few of his children's productions that delighted Greenwich audiences at the Edgewood School.
  A pioneer in the development of orchestral training for children, Mr. Ide taught, in addition to the Edgewood School in Greenwich at the Music School Settlement in New York City and at the Unquowa School in Bridgeport.
  Surviving Mr. Ide are his wife, the former Vella Martin, of Galesburg, Ill., a teacher at the Edgewood School, and two daughters, Mrs. Victor Ratner, of New York City, and Miss Elfrid Ide, now serving with the Red Cross in England.
  Mr. Ide is well known in Chateaugay having owned a camp at Chateaugay Lake, where he has spent a number of seasons.
[Note the mistake in his age -- it should be 65 or 66, depending on what date he was born, which I've been unable to ascertain.]

The only other significant information I could find about him is in the 1910 edition of the Wa-Wan Press catalogue:

Chester Ide, of Springfield, Ill., is one of the few American composers whose studies have been conducted chiefly in England. He has a marked gift for melody and rhythm, and aims at simple beauty and clarity of expression. He infuses a spirit of buoyant happiness, a poetic uplift, into his music, that is one of its chief characteristics, and he delights also in moods of wistful and reflective character. His workmanship is extremely careful, and his management of modulations is particularly smooth, and the effect always lucid. A refinement of means is always evident in his work, and his interweaving of themes ingenious and unstrained.

I hear nothing unique, unusual, or revolutionary in his music, but it is clearly well-crafted and very enjoyable. The recording is excellent and the orchestra quite decent, although the work would likely make more of an impact from a major ensemble. The conducting is involved and committed, keeping things tidy, well-balanced, and flowing. However, I feel there is a sense of structure lacking, that allows the music to seem more rambling than it really should be. But, beggars can't be choosers and we're unlikely to ever get a world-class performance and recording of this work.
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