Alcotts, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Charles Ives

Charles Ives (trans. Jonathan Elkus)

General Info

Year: 1920 / 1947
Duration: c. 5:45
Difficulty: V see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Wise Music Classical
Cost: Rental


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet I-II
E-flat Contra-alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone (doubling soprano sax)
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Bass Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
B-flat Cornet I-II
Flugelhorn I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion(3), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals (3 pairs)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba, bass
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Alcotts is the subject of one of Ives’s Essays Before a Sonata, which he published concurrently with the Concord Sonata in 1920. In the essay, Ives takes us inside the elm-shaped Orchard House where “sits the old spinet piano Sophia Thoreau gave to the Alcott children, on which Beth played the old Scotch airs, and played at Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.” Warming as always to such a scene of home music-making, he continues: “ All around you, under the Concord sky there still floats ... that human faith melody reflecting an innate hope, a common interest in common men, a tune that the Concord bards are ever playing when they pound away at the immensities with a Beethoven-like sublimity, and with vengeance and perseverance.”

Transcribed for the U.S. Marine Band by Jonathan Elkus from Ives’s 1946-47 revision of the Concord Sonata.

- Program notes by Jonathan Elkus

The Piano Sonata No. 2, "Concord, Mass., 1840-1860," commonly known as the "Concord Sonata" was composed between 1909 and 1915 and consists of four movements, each bearing the name of a famous mid-19th century resident of Concord. To some degree, each movement is a musical impression of the personality and philosophical attitudes of its subject. The Alcotts is a section of simple and serene beauty and monumental character - a touching and lovingly etched remembrance of the Alcotts' Orchard House "under the elms" and the spirit of "that human faith melody" which, for Ives, was the root of that time and place.

Program Note by Richard E. Thurston


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Symphonic Winds (Robert Carnachan, conductor) - 5 December 2023
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornett, conductor) - 28 April 2023
  • University of Miami (Coral Gables) Frost Symphonic Winds (Jay Rees, conductor) – 16 February 2020
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 28 November 2018
  • University of California (Berkeley) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Sadowski, conductor) - 28 October 2018
  • Arizona State University (Tempe) Wind Orchestra (Gary W. Hill, conductor) – 25 September 2018
  • Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Wind Ensemble (Lancaster, Penn.) (Michael Fansler, conductor) – 21 April 2018
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Symphony (Debra Traficante, conductor) – 17 April 2018
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 3 May 2017
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony (Curran Pendergast, conductor) – 22 April 2016
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 18 March 2016
  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Wind Ensemble (John Carmichael, conductor) – 19 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Southern Division Conference, Charleston, S.C.)
  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) - 20 February 2015
  • Sutherland Wind Band Festival Orchestra (Lawrence R. Sutherland, conductor) - 23 March 2014 (2014 Sutherland Wind Festival, Fresno, Calif.)
  • San Jose State University Wind Ensemble (Edward C. Harris, conductor) - CBDNA Western/Northwestern Division Convention (Reno, Nev.) 14 March 2014
  • University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Wind Ensemble (Lawrence R. Sutherland, conductor) - 7 November 2012
  • Oregon Wind Ensemble (David Vickerman, conductor) - November 2009

Works for Winds by This Composer