Gwyneth Walker

The Viola Speaks

for Viola and String Ensemble (2016)

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

The Viola Speaks is a set of four short movements for solo viola and string ensemble. It is envisioned that the Violist will lead (conduct) the other players from the stage. And thus, in the lead role, the viola speaks as a guide.

In addition, the speaking takes the form of conversation, exchanging musical material between soloist and ensemble. The back-and-forth discussions are rhythmic (in the first movement) and lyrical (second movement).

In the third movement, the soloist leads the ensemble in an exploration of intervals -- first the seconds, then the thirds. Much delight is taken in focusing on one interval, and then the next. At the end, the soloist enjoys settling into a peaceful second.

"A Moment of Finality" is energetic and forceful. Abrasive chords punctuate the music. This movement is an exclamation point to the entire suite!

Notes by the composer