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Piston: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 6

Walter Piston , Gerard Schwarz , Seattle Symphony Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $11.24 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2003 $6.23  
Audio CD, 2003 $11.24  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 2: Moderato10:09$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Symphony No. 2: Adagio10:48$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 2: Allegro 4:33$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 6: Fluendo espressivo 6:39$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Symphony No. 6: Scherzo: Leggerissimo vivace 3:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Symphony No. 6: Adagio sereno11:21$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Symphony No. 6: Allegro energico 3:48$0.89  Buy MP3 

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Piston: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 6 + Piston: Symphony No. 4/Three New England Sketches/Capriccio for Harp and String Orchestra + Piston: Symphonies Nos. 5, 7, 8
Price for all three: $36.47

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Seattle Symphony
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Composer: Walter Piston
  • Audio CD (July 15, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos American Classics
  • Run Time: 51 minutes
  • ASIN: B00009ZY9F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome reissue March 9, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Walter Piston is a great American composer and his neglect is a shame. These are two fine mid century American symphonies - tonal and neo-classical in form but definitely modern. The second is a lively war symphony and the first movement includes one of Piston's few "Americanisms" with a jazz tinged second theme. The Sixth is an equally lovely and melodic work, using such instruments as the harp for an unusually lush sound. Originally issued on the Delos label, Naxos is doing us a great service re-releasing these pieces. As one critic noted, a Piston symphony goes out into the world "with buttons buttoned and pants creased." Do not let that fool you - these are well made and handsome works that any music lover can enjoy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two of Piston's Finest August 27, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Naxos continues its welcome reissue of orchestral music of Walter Piston (1894-1976) performed by Gerard Schwarz conducting the Seattle Symphony originally published in the early 1990s on Delos. They have shuffled the contents of the original discs. This one contains Symphony No. 2 and Symphony No. 6, surely two of Piston's most ingratiating scores.
The first movement of Symphony No. 2, written during the Second World War and with an unmistakable American flavor, contains two memorable themes, the opening one a long serious string melody followed then by a raffishly jazzy tune with catchy syncopations. The working-out turns the first theme into a delicious canon. The serene Adagio has a Coplandesque simplicity and one of Piston's loveliest melodies, played first by clarinet and then taken up by other winds. The Finale, a kind of rondo, is propelled to an exciting finish by syncopated brass and percussion. This is the Piston made familiar by his most popular score, 'The Incredible Flutist.'
The Sixth Symphony was written for the 75th birthday of the Boston Symphony in 1955 and premièred by them under Charles Munch. Movement I is string-dominated, with flashes of harp and piccolo, and is richly harmonized. A long flowing melody features prominently. The second movement is a scherzo with whirling leggerissimo strings punctuated by manic percussion. There is an undercurrent of anxiety. The Adagio that follows, then, is a welcome island of calm. The cello, against impressionistic harmonies, sings an alluring theme, later handed over to the oboe and other winds. The finale, Allegro energico, returns us to bright triadic harmonies and is unmistakably American in its melodic outlines and jazzy syncopations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb music in strong performances December 10, 2009
Format:Audio CD
I heartily welcome any other installment in Naxos's series of Piston's orchestral music, and truly hope that we will eventually have a complete symphony cycle. Piston might just have been the greatest American symphonist ever (stressing `might') and is at least worthy of being placed among the great composers of the 20th century. Piston has sometimes been compared to Roussel, mostly given the slightly French-inspired take on neo-classicism, but also some of the atmosphere, I'd guess - but Piston's musical language is harmonically more spicy and craggy. One of the distinguishing traits of Piston's music is at least the clarity and cogency of his arguments; it is elegant, vibrant and rhythmically vital, and often tuneful accessible. That goes for both of the works on this disc, at least - they are exactly imaginative, ever-interesting, never outstaying their welcome and brimful of good ideas, skillfully and inventively developed. I have to admit that I haven't heard any alternative performances (there is one of the second by Tilson Thomas on Deutsche Grammophon which I suspect to be a strong competitor, and there exists a Charles Munch recording of the sixth), but the performances here sound excellent to me, full of the sparkle and vitality the music needs, idioimatic and excellently recorded. Strongly recommended
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