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Piston: Chamber Music

Piston: Chamber Music

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More cool stuff from Australia! The Queensland seaside city of Townsville deserves a lot of credit for sponsoring both the 1999 Australian Festival of Chamber Music and this recording, particularly as the artistic results certainly reveal a high level of talent on offer. Walter Piston's chamber output, not to mention the rest of his music, seems to be doing better Down Under than here in his native land, a national disgrace for which there is simply no excuse. The Flute Quintet in particular is a certified masterpiece of poised, mellifluous ensemble writing notable for the way in which Piston keeps all five players on an equal musical footing, steadfastly refusing to write a "concerto for flute and string quartet". The Piano Quintet has more bravura but no less melodic appeal, while the two late works, though tougher in fiber, are no less rewarding or expertly crafted. Both demonstrate that Piston's characteristic stylistic fingerprints--the lyrically expansive, moderately paced opening movements, lightning-quick scherzos, probing adagios, and rhythmically buoyant, "American-sounding" finales--were capable of endless development and permutation within the context of a personal, highly disciplined, but never static musical language. As noted above, the performances are all very fine, particularly the liquid flute playing of Olga Shylayeva, and it's interesting to see Naxos house conductor Theodore Kuchar among the violas. An important contribution to Piston's discography and American music in general. Buy two and give one to a friend. --David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Naxos American Classics
    • UPC/Barcode: 636943907122
    • Item Number: 8559071