Universe Symphony

AFMM Orchestra conducted by Johnny Reinhard


Long considered the El Dorado or Shangri-La of American music, the Universe Symphony of Charles Ives was to be his magnum opus, a summation of all music that had gone before and a foreshadowing of all that was to come. History books tell us that Ives never finished it and it could never be completed, but Johnny Reinhard, the intrepid founder of the American Festival of Microtonal Music, thought otherwise, as usual, dug through Ives’s sketches, and came up with a completion of the work which he claims is 100 percent Ives. The resultant music sounds like no other except for moments that recall Ives’s last officially complete symphony, the Fourth, which was the precursor to this. “Pulse of the Cosmos,” sampled here, shows that totalism is nearly a century old.


—FJO

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