Return to Gwyneth Walker Music Catalog
Read Cross-Country Phone Friendship Leads to Walla Walla Concert by Richard S. Clayton, The Walla-Walla Union-Bulletin.
Read an analysis of An American Concerto (1995) for violin and orchestra
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the first movement of this work performed by Susan Pickett, violin and the Mid-Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Robert Bode, conductor
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the second movement of this work.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the third movement of this work.
Download an a MP3 file of the first movement of this work performed by Susan Pickett, violin and the Mid-Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Robert Bode, conductor.
Download an a MP3 file of the second movement of this work.
Download an a MP3 file of the third movement of this work.
View/download a perusal PDF file of the full score of this orchestral work.
View/download a PDF file of selected sample pages from the solo violin part of this work.
This work is entitled An American Concerto since its musical language strongly embodies what we have come to associate with typically 'American' music. The rhythms are definite and the harmonic language is open and clear.
The listener might hear the three movements of this concerto as distinct elements from the American musical heritage -- rock, folk and jazz. Certainly these influences will be felt. Or perhaps these categories merge into one (American) composer's style.
"A Burst of Energy" is the most rock-influenced movement of the concerto. Open harmonies of fourths and fifths predominate. These intervals structure the melodic phrases as well. But the rhythms border on jazz. And the introduction of many players through short solo passages is a jazz-influenced technique. Throughout this brief movement, energy lurks within the raw sonorities.
"A Reflection" speaks in the language of folk music with a C Major melody in the solo violin. But the melody is framed by blurred background textures to add depth. On occasion, the violin blurs its own lines as the melody shifts to the orchestra. Often the soloist emerges in unaccompanied cadenza passages. Freedom -- a flexibility of tempo -- is important.
And "Another Stroll" is an easy-going jazz 'excursion' for an adventurous violinist! Personality and humor may accompany the strolling soloist on this short trip around the block.
Notes by the composer