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Classical 03/06/2005

Johnny Reinhard Releases Landmark Recording of Charles Ives' 'Universe Symphony'

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NEW YORK (The Stereo Society Label) - For the first time in history, Charles Ives' "Universe Symphony" has been recorded and is set for release this summer on The Stereo Society label. The man behind this unique project is none other than composer, musician professor and commentator, Johnny Reinhard.

In June 1996 Reinhard conducted his premiere performance of "The Universe Symphony" at New York's Lincoln Center. New findings and research by Reinhard enabled him to construct a fresh performing version of the piece lasting 64 minutes and requiring 74 musicians. After the performance, Reinhard delved into the intense project of recording Ives' legendary symphony.
Reinhard recorded with the help of legendary producer Mike Thorne (owner of the Stereo Society); Thorne is best known for producing classic British bands Wire, Soft Cell and Bronski Beat. He was also instrumental in signing the Sex Pistols to EMI.

No one would argue that "The Universe Symphony" is Charles Ives' largest and grandest conception. Ives composed "The Universe Symphony" in parallel with the fourth, the last of his numbered symphonies and it languished in the composer's original fragments (aside from one version created after his death) until Reinhard's remarkable new realization in 1996. For the last decade of his life, health badly compromised through overwork, Ives begged others to finish the symphony from his comprehensive sketches. None would - until now.

Charles Ives has become recognized as the true father of American music, breaking ground for confident innovators a generation later such as Elliot Carter, Henry Cowell, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and John Cage. Thanks to insurance business fortune, he would also provide economic as well as inspirational encouragement.

The symphony's realization differs from convention in almost every imaginable way, yet Reinhard remarks that he did not add any notes to the composer's original manuscripts. He sees his role not as creator, but rather as a curator. The new, authoritative recording documents, finally, the crowning achievement of America's musical father figure.

The Stereo Society is proud to announce the fitting release date of July 4 for "The Universe Symphony."

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