Steven Stucky, Christopher Rouse, Ives
Label: New York Philharmonic
Ives's fourth symphony is the tough-to-master summit of his orchestral writing. When a chorus and super-huge orchestra are tasked with performing riffs on top of marches on top of hymns, making it sound as wild as it needs to be without descending into madness is a tall order. But the Philharmonic is up to the task; it's shocking how much detail you can hear at once in parts of the "Allegretto." This is one of the finest Ives recordings in recent memory, which means that the new pieces by Christopher Rouse ("Prospero's Rooms") and Steven Stucky ("Symphony") on the album take a backseat.