Gwyneth Walker

Duos by the Lake

for Flute and Piano (2016)

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Download a PDF file of the full piano score of this composition. This score may be printed and duplicated for the purposes of performances.

Download a PDF file of the flute part of this composition.

During the summer of 2016, the composer attended a beautiful concert (including flute and piano) in a cathedral by Lake Champlain, in Burlington, Vermont. It was a sunny day. The light filled the sanctuary as the musicians played.

With this imagery in mind, the composer has created a set of Duos by the Lake. Each movement is inspired by water themes.

#1. "Clear Lake" opens with rapid patterns in piano, as the mist rising. Flute lines are sparse and open, with clarity. Floating, filigree patterns emerge. The mist rises once again.

#2. "Where the Great Heron Feeds" opens with with expanding arpeggios, adding extra beats to successive measures, as a heron opening large wings in flight. The flute theme moves slowly, stepwise, as the movement of a great bird.

#3. "Footprints" is marked stealthily, daintily. Perhaps these are the tracks left by small birds in the sand by the lake shore. At the end, the creature scurries away!

#4. "Above the Waves" is based on a Celtic ballad, "The Great Silkie." This is the story of a creature which is half-seal, half-man. He comes upon the land to mate, and then returns to the sea. In this interpretation, he comes back to claim his son, teaching him to swim in the ocean, to soar above the waves.

This music explores both the floating upon the waves and the depths of the sea sonorities.

I am a man upon the land, I am a silkie (seal) on the sea.
And I shall teach my little young son to swim above the waves with me.

Notes by the composer