WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

American Classics - Piston: Symphony No 4, Etc / Schwarz


Release Date: 05/20/2003 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559162   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Walter Piston
Performer:  Therese Elder Wunrow
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 52 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Walter Piston's lovely Fourth Symphony certainly deserves greater exposure than it gets, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be popular. It begins with a lovely, pastoral opening that leads to a rambunctious scherzo with some elegant waltz music interludes. The slow movement is one of the composer's finest: it builds to a superb climax of Brucknerian intensity, while the amiable finale closes the work in high spirits. Really, what's not to like? This is the work's only stereo recording (Ormandy's is screechy mono, but wonderful all the same), and it's a very fine one. Schwarz keeps rhythms crisp in the fast movements, and phrases the "Comtemplativo" very broadly and affectingly, with some excellent solo work from the winds of Read more the Seattle Symphony.


The couplings are also very well done, the Capriccio's naturally dry string textures and bracing harmonic idiom providing an excellent stylistic foil to the solo harp. Three New England Sketches, one of Piston's very few "titled" works, also has impressive atmosphere, though Slatkin's out of print version on RCA was better still. No matter: these are fine performances very well recorded, and deserve your attention. Thanks to Naxos for keeping them in the catalog (and to the Seattle Symphony, which understood the necessity of not leaving the master tapes to molder in some closet or basement storage room once Delos deleted the original issues).
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 4 by Walter Piston
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; USA 
2. Capriccio for Harp and Strings by Walter Piston
Performer:  Therese Elder Wunrow (Harp)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; USA 
3. Three New England Sketches by Walter Piston
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 4: Piacevole
Symphony No. 4: Ballando
Symphony No. 4: Contemplativo
Symphony No. 4: Energico
Capriccio for Harp and String Orchestra
3 New England Sketches: Seaside (Adagio)
3 New England Sketches: Summer Evening (Delicato)
3 New England Sketches: Mountains (Maestoso; Risoluto)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook