At the River
is dated 1916; the text and basic tune come from the revivalist hymn by Robert Lowry, now famous from the setting in Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs
. Ives arranged this song from the second movement of his Violin Sonata No 4; there may have been an earlier version for cornet and violins. Note the very free accentuation of the words, which causes the song to end with an ‘unanswered question’ of its own.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2008