Universe, Incomplete / The Unanswered Ives

Author: Accentus Music

Accentus honors American sound pioneer Charles Ives with a DVD release of a unique stage production together with the first film about the composer.

  • ACC20434 - Front Cover | Copyright: © Accentus Music

    ACC20434 - Front Cover © Accentus Music

  • Universe, Incomplete | Copyright: © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale

    Universe, Incomplete © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale

  • The Unanswered Ivess | Copyright: © Accentus Music

    The Unanswered Ivess © Accentus Music

“In case I don’t get to finishing this, somebody might like to try to work out the idea, and the sketch that I’ve already done would make more sense to anybody looking at it with this explanation.”
-- Charles Ives

Inspired by these enticing words, director Christoph Marthaler, conductor Titus Engel, and stage designer Anna Viebrock developed their own highly individual take on an unfinished project by the American composer Charles Ives: the Universe Symphony, one of the great utopian works of the 20th century. Based on the musical work initially intended for 4250 musicians, the stage production Universe, Incomplete of the Ruhrtriennale 2018 incorporates elements and music from Charles Ives’ entire oeuvre.

The production is complemented by the documentary film “The Unanswered Ives”, which takes the viewer back to the composer’s hometown in Danbury, Connecticut and retraces Ives’ New England heritage. Presented like a collage, the film reveals a man who was far ahead of his time – a solitary radical in music and pioneer in polytonal harmony and multiple rhythms who was able to draw from the rich tradition of American music.

“The Unanswered Ives” has won the Czech Crystal as “Best Documentary” at this year’s Golden Prague International Television Festival.

Universe, Incomplete
Charles Ives – Christoph Marthaler – Titus Engel – Anna Viebrock
A stage production from the Ruhrtriennale 2018

The Unanswered Ives – Pioneer in American Music
A film by Anne-Kathrin Peitz
Produced by Paul Smaczny

Production Company Accentus Music GmbH
Co-Production Company WDR/Arte
TV Director Michael Beyer
Director Anne-Kathrin Peitz
Composer Charles Ives



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