FOREWORD (To the Music)
The parts of the flute quartet may be taken by two flutes, an oboe, and a clarinet. The trumpet should use a mute unless playing in a very large room, or with a larger string orchestra. The strings (con sordini; “with mutes“) play ppp throughout with no change in tempo. They are to represent “The Silence of Nature – Which Knows All, But Says Nothing.” The trumpet intones “Coronavirus”, and states it in the same tone of voice each time. But the hunt for “The Response to Coronavirus”, undertaken by the flutes and other human beings, becomes gradually more active, faster, louder. As time goes on, the “Fighting Responders” become more crazed, more frantic, more grasping at straws, and finally, with a last despairing scream, give up. After they disappear, “Coronavirus”, unperturbed, is sounded for the last time, and the “Silence of Nature” withdraws, leaving nothing.
– Charles Edward Ives, 1908 (recalculated for this meridian)
The original Foreword and score (one page of score missing).