On March 8 and 9, 2022, 37 Orchestra New England musicians rehearsed and recorded 39 movements of Charles Ives's pieces for chamber orchestra at Colony Hall at Choate-Rosemary school in Wallingford. The recording sessions took place over two days, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day. We actually finished by 9:30 on the 2nd day!
Orchestra New England recorded the first-ever complete recording of Ives’s sets for small orchestra in 39 new Ives Society editions, and in it were 5 world premieres:
Set 4: Robert Browning, Walt Whitman, Matthew Arnold
Set 6: Afterglow
Set 7: Fathom Five
Back on March 3, 1974 O.N.E., then known as the Yale Theatre Orchestra, premiered and then recorded for Columbia Records (now Sony) seven of these Set pieces: Set 1’s “Calcium Light Night,” Set 2’s “Gyp the Blood,” Set 5’s “Charlie Rutlage," Set 6’s “Mists” & “Evening,” and Set 7’s “Swimmers” & “Remembrance.” At the time we knew them just as individual pieces; later we discovered that they were intended to be parts of “Sets” as they are now ordered on this new disc. And in 1990, O.N.E. recorded the Set for Theatre Orchestra for O.N.E.'s Koch International Classics album.
Below are a few photos from the recording session at Choate, with James Sinclair and Kenneth Singleton, co-founder of Orchestra New England, in the control booth. Another photo shows Maestro Sinclair consulting with co-principal cellists Steven Thomas and Eliot Bailen.
Photo credit: Algis Kaupas