I have long had a fondness for the songs of Charles Ives whose music is in the Public Domain for the world as of 2024. Creating choral versions of some of them is inspired by the solo recordings made by Jan DeGaetani accompanied by Gilbert Kalish, and by the choral recordings made by The Gregg Smith Singers.
That Ives composed over one hundred songs is no small feat. Though they vary in quality as does his entire oeuvre, some of them remain almost mystical to me in their quality and effect. “Like a Sick Eagle” and “The Indians” are two such songs.
When arranging “Like a Sick Eagle,” I visited the website for the Charles Ives Society where I discovered that he grouped this song with “The Indians” under the master title “Set No. 10 of Three Pieces” with the song “Luck and Work” placed between them for contrast. I knew I could arrange the first and third songs for mixed chorus, but I also knew right away that the second song would be all but impossible to arrange for I was already familiar with it. So I included it in its original version and labeled it “for Solo Voice or Unison Chorus and Piano.”
In creating these arrangements I hope to rekindle interest in Ives’ music and its possibilities. I also hope that you find these songs as moving as I do.
—Stanley M. Hoffman, PhD
Set No. 10 of Three Pieces (Charles Ives [1874-1954]) – 1) Like a Sick Eagle, 2) Luck and Work, 3) The Indians arranged for SATB chorus (divisi) and piano – English – composed 1920-1921, arranged in 2021.
NotePerformer 4 audio and YouTube scrolling score video in search of live performances. Arrangement: © Copyright 2021 by Stanley M. Hoffman. www.stanleymhoffman.com All rights reserved.