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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Piston’s chamber music is less well served than his symphonies. The Piano Quintet is not only one of his finest works but one of the great quintets of the twentieth century, with a master’s understanding of the medium and the musical material most effective and natural to it. It is a gripping and powerful piece, and the Flute Quartet and Piano Quartet are also well worth getting to know when the performances here are so sympathetic and the recording very good.

Roderic Dunnett
The Strad, December 2000

"The Naxos American Classics series is throwing up both intriguing repertoire and some appealing performances...

Piston'ssplendid String Sextet dates from 1964 and occupies a very different world. Its opening is dark, intense and ruminating: a netherworld, with light glimpsed in an cello solo (exquisitely played by Judith Glyde). Given the movement's threnodic, monumental feel, we might almost be in post-war Poland..."

Geoffrey Norris
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), September 2000

"Walter Piston (1894-1976) is a composer whose surname conjures up images of pulsating, mechanistic music, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the four chamber works on this disc, the quality that most prominently distinguishes his style is the restraint, refinement and subtlety that he acquired during his French musical education: he was a pupil of both Nadia Boulanger and Paul Dukas, whose Sorcerer's Apprentice wit seems to have struck a chord in Piston's own personality.

"These fine performances, recorded during the 1999 Australian Festival of Chamber Music, bring out the lightness and delicacy of the Quintet for Flute and String Sextet's slow first movement and the combination of lyricism and energetic lines in its finale.

"The various ensembles are thoroughly persuasive here. The veiled colours that shroud the opening of the Piano Quartet are identified with just the same assurance and clear characterisation as the more robust, Brahmsian workings of the Piano Quintet. An illuminating disc."

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