Gwyneth Walker

A Cup of Rejoicing

for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Cello (2012)

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(Photograph of Musica Harmonia with the closing "celebratory toast": Joan Griffing, violin; Diane Phoenix-Neal, viola; Beth Vanderborgh, cello; Leslie Nicholas, clarinet)

A photo of Musica Harmonia

This short "musical greeting" is based on the Shaker song, "A Cup of Rejoicing."

A cup of rejoicing my Mother gave me,
'tis full to the brim, 'tis full to the brim.
Sure these are the waters Ezekiel did see,
wherein we can swim, wherein we can swim.

This is a joyous song. The new musical interpretation focuses upon celebration. One may be rejoicing in the glory of faith, raising a glass of wine with friends, or toasting a special occasion. A common element is the uplifting spirit of rejoicing. Thus, the tempo is quick, and the style is marked "playfully" and "celebratory." The strings often have upbow gestures, and even upbow glissandi. These are intended as "musical toasts!"

Notes by the composer