Gwyneth Walker

The Wings of a Dove

for High Voice and Piano (2020)

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"The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible but there arriving she is sure of bliss and forever dwells in paradise." - Plato

These Wing songs are inspired by the many characters of birds portrayed in poetry and folksongs. The "Tiny Swallow" is a mournful bird, weeping in sorrow, while the "Lone, Wild Bird" is a symbol of the Great Spirit called to earth. The turtle dove finds her peace in Heaven above. And the falcon, so beautifully described in the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem "The Windhover," is a majestic bird, striding, riding and gliding in his ecstasy.

The piano accompaniment is the expression of the bird, with fluttering wings and quiet, chirping calls. Often dwelling in the highest ranges of the keyboard (or, the aerie nest), the bird flies off at the end.

Notes by the composer