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Recordings
Piston: Three New England Sketches; Symphony No. 4; Capriccio for Harp and String Orcherstra
Label: Naxos Remastered
Released: June 20, 2008
Catalog Num: 8.559162
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 the Seattle Symphony.

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Updated: Jul-3-2008
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