Gwyneth Walker

Suite for Oboe and Piano


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Download a PDF file of selected sample pages from the full piano score of this composition.

Download a PDF file of selected sample pages from the oboe part of this composition.

Suite for Oboe and Piano is a four-movement work for oboe and piano. Taking the oboe's nature as a woodwind instrument as the inspiration, the four movements of the suite have titles relating to the wind: "Catch the Wind", "Air", "Zephyr", and "Windy Blues."

"Catch the Wind" is a buoyant and energetic movement in an ABA form. Mixed meters serve to drive the music forward in the vibrant first (A) section. The short middle (B) section is more lyrical, with the oboe singing gently over a pulsing accompaniment in the piano. The opening music returns and leads to a gentle cadenza in the oboe -- moving from the uppermost to the lowest register of the instrument. It is as if the listener has been riding the wind and has now been set down gently to earth again.

The title of the second movement, "Air", refers to both the substance through which wind moves and the musical form of an "air" -- a lyrical song. This air is cast in a triple meter. The oboe plays the song-like melody over gently flowing figurations in the piano. The melody becomes more and more active throughout before the reposed conclusion.

"Zephyr" is a scherzo, and the title refers to the small gusty breezes that spring up from time to time (particularly over the ocean). The movement is playful and light -- much like the breezes themselves.

"Windy Blues" is the suite's finale. The opening section using blues patterns and melodies over a pushing rhythmic drive. The second section is slower. The piano and oboe engage in a free "lazy blues" dialogue, with the spirit of an improvisation. The final section of the piece combines both the opening driving blues with the second section's lazy blues. A short coda ends the work with a burst of energy.

Notes by Carson Cooman