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Fugue in C (Ives)

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Charles Ives

Charles Ives (arr. James B. Sinclair)

General Info

Year: 1900 / 1992
Duration: c. 6:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Peer Music Classical
Cost: Score and Parts - $85.00   |   Score Only - $7.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

With Lowell Mason’s Missionary Hymn (From Greenland’s Icy Mountains) as its subject, this four-voice fugue shows the organ-like capability of the band to best advantage. We hear the most striking example, perhaps, in the cumulative, climactic ending coincidentally reminiscent of Ives' contemporary and fellow organist, Gustav Holst, followed by its fadeout "Amen" close, an endplay that would become the mature Ives' almost predictable signature. Ives often recycled his music: The original organ fugue, composed as a Yale course assignment for Horatio Parker (another esteemed organist) and -- we must presume -- for Ives's own use at Center Church, was adapted into his First Quartet and thence, further recomposed, into his Fourth Symphony

- Program Note by Jonathan Elkus

Ives completed his Fugue in C during his time at Yale (1895-96), serving as fulfillment for a course assignment given by Horatio Parker. It was originally intended for organ, and most likely played by the composer himself in services at Center Church. Ives soon arranged the work for inclusion as the opening movement (entitled Chorale) of his First String Quartet (1896). He later adapted this fugue in 1916 for the third movement of his Fourth Symphony (which would become one of his most famous compositions). Tonight’s performance is based upon an arrangement made from the string quartet version.

Though Fugue in C is a rather conservative work, it still displays elements of Ives’ mature compositional style. He relies on quotations of two hymns for primary melodic material: Lowell Mason’s Missionary Hymn (also called From Greenland’s Icy Mountains) and Oliver Holden’s Coronation (better known as All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name). Ives also incorporates a faint “Amen” cadence to conclude the piece, a technique that he used frequently in other compositions.

- Program Note by Tiffany Engle for Calvin University Wind Ensemble concert program, 1 May 2021


State Ratings

  • South Carolina: III
  • Virginia: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Wind Ensemble (Andy Radford, conductor) - 9 March 2023
  • Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Wind Ensemble (Tiffany Engle, conductor) - 1 May 2021
  • Hartt Wind Ensemble (Hartford, Conn.) (Patricia Cornett, conductor) – 8 March 2018
  • The University of Texas at Tyler Wind Ensemble (Jeffrey Emge, conductor) – 7 March 2018
  • California State University, Fullerton, Symphonic Winds (Patricia Cornet, conductor) – 4 December 2016
  • Texas State University (San Marcos) Wind Ensemble (Rodney C. Schueller, conductor) – 1 March 2008 (CBDNA 2008 Southwestern Division Conference, Kansas City, Mo.)
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 10 April 2005

Works for Winds by This Composer