Four Pieces for Lute was composed in 1977, when Gwyneth Walker was a member of the faculty of the Oberlin College Conservatory. The music was written for lutenist Peter Croton, a student at the Conservatory. These pieces are among the earliest in the Walker catalog, dating to the time directly following the completion of Doctoral studies at the Hartt School of Music. The musical language is light and free. The four movements are marked "Lively", "Andantino, Dolce e Semplice", "Rhythmico", and "Dolce." The second movement is a transcription of the piano piece, April, also composed in 1977.
1 – lively
4 – dolce
Peter Croton - lute, from the CD "The Renaissance Lute - yesterday and today" (Musicaphon M 56810)
Dr. Gwyneth Walker (b. 1947) is a graduate of Brown University and the Hartt School of Music. She holds B.A., M.M. and D.M.A. Degrees in Music Composition. A former faculty member of the Oberlin College Conservatory, she resigned from academic employment in 1982 in order to pursue a career as a full-time composer. She now lives on a dairy farm in Braintree, Vermont.
Gwyneth Walker is a proud resident of Vermont. She is the recipient of the Year 2000 "Lifetime Achievement Award" from theVermont Arts Council as well as the 2008 "Athenaeum Award for Achievement in the Arts and Humanities" from theSt. Johnsbury (VT) Athenaem.
Walker's catalog includes over 180 commissioned works for orchestra, band, chorus and chamber ensembles. The music of Gwyneth Walker is published by E.C. Shirmer (choral/vocal music) and Lauren Keiser Music Publishing (orchestral/instrumental music).
In recent years, Gwyneth Walker traveled across the United States working with a variety of musicians as they recorded her works. As a result of these collaborations, several new CDs have been released: A Vision of Hills (piano trios and string works, performed by Trio Tulsa), An Hour to Dance (music for SATB chorus recorded by the choirs at Whitman College), Now Let Us Sing! (with Bella Voce Women’s Chorus, Burlington, Vermont), The Sun Is Love (solo voice and piano works performed by Chicago artists Michelle Areyzaga and Jamie Shaak), and Scattering Dark and Bright (song cycles recorded by the Walker-Eklof Duo).
In addition to the composing of new works, there has also been a special project of creating orchestral accompaniments for many of the choral and vocal works in the Walker catalog. Thus, the Songs for Women’s Voices, Three Days By the Sea, I Thank You God, and the song cycle, No Ordinary Woman!, have all been orchestrated. Another new work, A Testament to Peace, combines three peace-oriented choral works (Tell the Earth to Shake, The Tree of Peace, and There is a Way to Glory) into a set with chamber orchestra. Coming soon will be The Promised Land – songs for Soprano and Orchestra based on familiar American songs.
Another special project has been the creation of works for orchestra with narrator. Muse of Amherst (based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson) was recently premiered by the Holyoke (MA) Civic Symphony. And the newly-completed By Walden Pond (with readings of H. D. Thoreau) will be premiered by the Carson City (NV) Orchestra.
Composing projects for the Fall of 2009 – Winter of 2010 feature an extended work for chorus and clarinet (for the Wolf River Singers of TN), sacred music for chorus and organ (for the Myron Heaton Chorale of Las Vegas, NV), songs for youth chorus and orchestra (for the community of Walla Walla, WA) and a staged presentation with music based on the poetry of Robert Lax. It is always the composer's desire to explore a variety of genres, especially those with dramatic potential.