2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Walter Piston's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Nicole S. Moore♦
Dr. Sam McClure, Faculty Mentor

Walter Piston (1894-1976) was an American born composer who is most widely known for his work concerning music theory, as shown in his various published texts entitled Counterpoint, Harmony, Principles of Harmonic Analysis, and Orchestration. Pistons Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (1957), commissioned by and dedicated to Joseph de Pasquale, was written with a careful concern for the balance between the mellow and sometimes heavy tone color of the viola and the orchestra, requiring an in depth knowledge of each instrument used within the piece. Around the time that this concerto was written, Piston had entered a compositional period in which he focused on melody and tone colors. This can particularly be seen in the 2nd movement, in which the melodies create an operatic atmosphere through an improvisatory-like opening that resembles recitative and a more cantabile second section that reminds the listener of an aria.

Keywords: Piston, viola, music, concerto


Presentation Type: Performance Art

Session: 38-3
Location: OP Performance Hall
Time: 1:45

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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