Gwyneth Walker

I Speak For the Earth

for Soprano, Flute (or Violin), and Piano (1986)

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Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work by Donne e Doni.

I Speak For the Earth is a life-affirming cantata intended for church or community concert programs.

The work opens with the sounds of tapping stones, as a background to the reading of Leonard Nathan's poem, "The Election" ("How did the stones vote this time?"). Then follows a new musical setting of the words "Dona Nobis Pacem," which might be heard as the answer given by the stones. Michael Arnowitt's poem, "I Speak for the Earth," is then presented both as a reading and a song ("Let the earth sing out the field's elegant lamentations...").

The finale is an updated version of the hymn, "This is My Father's World." New lyrics (with reference to "my Mother's world" ) are added. The mood is celebratory, and the stones return as percussion instruments.

Notes by the composer