Violin Concerto (1959) 1
Symphony #2 (1943)
1 Paul Zukofsky, violin
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
Deutshe Grammophon 429860-2 74:43
Ruggles' music is not easy to love but even if you find it not to your taste, the rest of the CD will more than make up for it. The Schuman Violin Concerto is variously anguished, calm, strident, lyrical, violent, and similar in many ways to the first Shostakovich Violin Concerto. There are other recordings if you can't find this one. Less often recorded is the Piston symphony, in three movements, at whose heart is an adagio which is unmistakably American. For my money, it's Piston's best symphony. The performances are exemplary.