As a part of their 50 releases by 50 composers of the 20th century, Deutsche Grammophon presents a collection of key
works by Charles Ives. The album features his Second Symphony, which was written between 1897 and 1901, but didn’t
see it’s first performance until half a century later, given by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic on 22
February 1951. Central Park in the Dark is an early example of where Ives’ narrative impulse calls forth a revolutionary
compositional strategy involving overlayering and collage technique. Like many of Ives' works, it’s comprised of multiple
independent layers of sound. As Ives writes in the notes that accompany the score, "This piece purports to be a picture-in-
sounds of the sounds of nature and of happenings that men would hear some 30 years ago (before the combustion engine
and radio monopolized the earth and air), when sitting on a bench in Central Park on a hot summer night."