The American composer Charles Ives, an insurance man by day for most of his compositional career, worked to craft a music that reflected the American landscape. “He saw the landscape as a kind of palimpsest,” says Gerard McBurney, the impresario of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s series Beyond the Score, a sort of theatrical program-note-cum-concert. “Its history was written and rewritten—the history of the people he belonged to. He wanted his music to be like that landscape.”
I’m hoping to repeat this format, letting people know what they might pick out of the texture at a classical concert. They won’t all be so easy as Ives.