by Jim Lowe, The Randolph Herald
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Read notes for Letters to the World (2001) for piano quartet
On Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bethany United Church in Randolph, the Bartholdy Ensemble will perform Letters to the World: Reflections of the Poetry of Emily Dickinson by nationally acclaimed Braintree area composer Gwyneth Walker.
The suite, in five short movements, musically sketches five contrasting Dickinson poems. Completed this past year, Letters… was commissioned by a Connecticut group [New World Chamber Ensemble] which gave its premiere in April. Since that performance, Walker has been working closely with the Bartholdy Ensemble making final revisions prior to the work’s publication.
Scored for violin, viola, cello and piano, the piece explores moods of nature (familiar Dickinson themes) in "Spring," "The Frog Pond," and "Indian Summer." It begins with the "Invocation" (Dickinson’s "Letter To The World"), and also includes a rarer Dickinsonian theme of "Passion."
The Bartholdy Ensemble has described the piece as "vintage Walker; Gwyneth at her very best." The group characterized the composition as "immediately accessible, very evocative, and including moments of wonderful Walker humor."
The Bartholdy Ensemble: Ruth Einstein, Drusilla Macy, Paul Perley, and June Morse, is beginning its 13th season, still with its original members. In the program the group will also perform Fantasy Etudes for violin and piano, (also by Gwyneth Walker), and Antonin Dvorak’s joyful Piano Trio in B Flat, op. 21.
Gwyneth Walker, in the Spring, will compose a new Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, commissioned by the Bartholdy Ensemble.