Gwyneth Walker

Gestalt at Sixty

for Narrator and Piano (2007)

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View a video presentation of a performance of this work by Maria Lagios, narrator and Jamie Shaak, piano.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by Denise Walker, narrator and Estrid Eklof, piano.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by Maria Lagios, narrator and Jamie Shaak, piano.

Download a PDF file of the full score of this composition.


Premiered by Denise Walker, narrator, and Estrid Eklof, pianist at the "Celebration of the Music Makers" Festival, Chandler Music Hall, Randolph, Vermont, October 13, 2007

Gestalt at Sixty is a dramatization, for narrator and piano, of the poem by May Sarton. The composer has selected this poem due to her affinity with the expression. Both the composer and poet are artists who live and work in solitude in rural New England. Many of the moods and sentiments are shared. And, on the occasion of the composer’s sixtieth year, this was a very appropriate poem.

In solitude, the imagination flourishes, and the landscape comes to life. The trees “groan.” The mountains become a friend. Solitude “exposes the nerve.” There are moments of panic, times of loneliness.

Yet the spirit survives – strong, renewable, fertile like the flowers in a well-worked garden. The writer lives in her imagination, never alone, always moving towards a new freedom.

“As I approach sixty, I turn my face towards the sea.
I shall go where the tides replace time,
where my world will open to a new horizon.
There are no farewells.”

Notes by the composer