Gwyneth Walker

All Nature Sings

for Woodwind Quintet (2021)

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Download a PDF file of the full score of this composition. Instrumental parts are available upon request.

Download an MP3 file of a MIDI demo of "In Flight" from this composition.
Download an MP3 file of a MIDI demo of "Quiet Paths, a Pond" from this composition.

Composed in celebration of the Centennial of the Helen and Alice Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve, New Canaan, Connecticut: 1924-2024

All Nature Sings is a suite of five movements for woodwind quintet inspired by the Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve, located near the composer's CT home. This beloved refuge has been visited and enjoyed by the composer since her childhood. Much of the woodland beauty and peace have remained the same over the years.

Each movement of the suite speaks to a different aspect of the sanctuary life. "In Flight" are the birds, flying and singing overhead, or hopping playfully on the ground. Often they sing individually. But here they join together in chorus!

The pond in the sanctuary is hidden away near the edge of the property. Surrounded by trees, the surface of the water is extremely peaceful, offering an ideal home for a pair of mallard ducks. First one duck (the Oboe) and then two ducks (Oboe and Flute) glide across the pond. Motion is gentle and graceful.

And's tranquility is interrupted by the sounds of scurrying. There is "Something Underfoot!" Creatures large and small rustle in the underbrush. Some move quickly, some move deliberately. What joy and energy they have in exploring their home!

In "This Stillness" of nature, the traveler escapes to be alone. And yet, in the moments of solitude, one may encounter an infinite (divine) companion. "We walked together as one." [The French Horn portrays the solitary traveler, with the Bassoon as the companion. In the meantime, the upper woodwinds form a canopy of trees overhead, as the spirit protecting and encompassing the traveler.]

The lyrics to the hymn "This is My Father's World" inspire the last movement "Celebration - the Music of the Spheres." Of special relevance are the words And to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. When one visits the Bird Sanctuary, and takes a moment to listen, one hears a grand symphony of sound, the celebration of the natural world.

Notes by the composer