Gwyneth Walker

Love Was My Lord and King!

for TTBB Chorus and Piano (2003)
for TTBB Chorus and Chamber Orchestra (2003)
The third song, Crossing the Bar is also available for SSAA and SATB choruses.
Crossing the Bar is also available
for SATB Chorus, Organ, and Opt. Brass Quartet and Percussion (2009)

(see the bottom of this page for a table of available materials for the various versions of "Crossing the Bar")

Return to Gwyneth Walker Music Catalog

Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the first movement of this work performed by Orpheus Male Chorus, Joseph Eunkwan Choi, conductor.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the second movement of this work.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the third movement of this work.

Download an MP3 file of the first movement of this work performed by the Orpheus Male Chorus, Joseph Eunkwan Choi, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of the second movement of this work.
Download an MP3 file of the third movement of this work.

Download an MP3 file of Crossing the Bar (SATB and orchestra) performed by the Hamburg High School Concert Chorale and members of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Norman Zogaib, conductor.

Download an a MP3 file of Crossing the Bar (SATB and piano) performed by the West Ottawa High School (Holland, Michigan) Vocalaires, Pamela Pierson, conductor.

Download an MP3 file of Crossing the Bar (SATB, piano, and strings) by the Kellogg Chamber Singers at California Polytech University, Iris S. Levine, director

Download an a MP3 file of Crossing the Bar (SSAA and orchestra).

Download an a MP3 file of Crossing the Bar (SSAA and piano) performed by Bella Voce (Vermont), Dawn Willis, conductor.

Download an a MP3 file of Crossing the Bar (SSAA, strings, and piano) performed by the St. Louis Women's Chorale, Scott Schoonover, conductor.

View a video presentation of a performance of this work (SSAA and piano) by the Assembled Women's Choruses of the "Celebration of the Music Makers" Festival, Dawn Willis, conductor.

Download a PDF file of the poetry used in the three movements of Love Was My Lord and King as text for printing in concert programs.
Download a PDF file of the poetry used in Crossing the Bar as text for printing in concert programs.

Download a PDF file of the choral score of "Crossing the Bar" (SATB version). For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the choral score of "Crossing the Bar" (SSAA version). For perusal only -- not printable.


Notes for the entire triptych:

Commissioned by The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, Inc. for its 75th Anniversary Season (2003-2004), John T. Brown, Commissioning Music Director, and Joseph Eunkwan Choi, Interim Music Director

The poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) is characterized by dark, yet transcendent imagery -- the depths of the ocean, the triumph of the spirit. These poems seem well-suited to musical settings for Men's Chorus. The deep tones. The sonority of male voices (perhaps speaking for the poet) rising in song.

Of the poems selected for this trilogy, #3 "Crossing the Bar" is the best-known. Here are found the typical Tennyson references to the sea, with the "final voyage" leading us out across the water, to see our "Pilot, face to face." The musical setting endeavors to express the growth from peaceful to ecstatic moods. The tolling of the bell. The meeting of the Pilot. "May there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out to sea."

The earlier two songs in the set are intended to introduce the listener to the language of Tennyson. #1 "The Sentinel" describes the watchman keeping guard over love. He "whispers to the world of space, in the deep night, that all is well." And, #2 "There Rolls the Deep" speaks of the Tennyson affirmation of life. "For in my spirit will I dwell...I cannot think the thing farewell."

Throughout the varied imagery of this poetry -- the depth of the sea, the dark of the night, the tumult of passion and the acceptance of death -- there speaks one, central message. "Love was my lord and king."

Notes for Crossing the Bar:

Crossing the Bar creates images of the sea, with the "final voyage" leading us out across the water, to see our "Pilot, face to face." The musical setting endeavors to express the growth from peaceful to ecstatic moods, the tolling of the bell, the meeting of the Pilot. "May there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out to see."

Notes by the composer




The song "Crossing the Bar" is a work available in various scorings, both of the choral parts and the accompaniment. The table below provides the ordering catalog numbers for all available versions.

VersionChoral OctavoFull ScoreFull Set of Parts
SATB, Piano6378N/AN/A
SATB, Orchestra637863756376
SATB, Organ, with opt. Brass Quartet and Percussion637875267527
SSAA, Piano6377N/AN/A
SSAA, Orchestra637763746376
TTBB, Piano6373N/AN/A
TTBB, Orchestra637365066507