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PISTON: Symphony No. 4 / Three New England Sketches

Composer(s):Piston, Walter
Artist(s) Schwarz, Gerard, Conductor • Wunrow, Therese Elder, harp • Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.559162
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

“In some ways Piston was the dean of American music. But as a result of his intellect and his association with the university environment, he was considered to be a somewhat dull, academic composer. For anyone familiar with Piston’s music, it is clear that he is neither dull nor academic, but incredibly imaginative and innovative. It is true that he uses classic forms, but with his own language. I have studied most of his output and I have come to realize that he was a master, an inspired composer.” — Gerard Schwarz


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The Fourth is Piston’s most radiant and appealing symphony, one of the masterpieces of American—and not only American—symphonic writing. This and the three New England Sketches are among the composer’s strongest and most attractive scores, and they come here in outstanding performances under Gerard Schwarz, originally issued on the Delos label, and here made doubly attractive at super-bargain price. The four movements of the Symphony are all strongly characterized, with the gentle piacevole opening of the first movement leading to tough counterpoint, strongly syncopated, and the second movement Ballando rather like a hoe-down, vigorous open-air music with the evocative slow movement leading to a jaggedly rhythmic finale.



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