Impression of the St. Gaudens in Boston Common

Donald Berman, piano

Who can say how many little gems of works (and many probably not so little, too) penned by composers famous and unknown alike are hidden away in boxes, libraries, and attics, left undiscovered, unplayed? Charles Ives’s Impression of the “St. Gaudens” in Boston Common (1915), which would later evolve into the first movement of Three Places in New England, is one of many fragments and experiments being brought to the attention of the general public via pianist Donald Berman’s ongoing Unknown series. It’s surprisingly compelling listening—as revealing as examining an artist’s sketches in light of a completed painting, though such a parallel opportunity as this is rare in musical life.

—MS