Gwyneth Walker

The Tree of Peace

for SSAA Chorus and Piano (2002)
for SATB Chorus and Piano (2006)
for TTBB Chorus and Piano (2007)
for SATB Chorus and Chamber Orchestra (2007)
for SSAA Chorus and Chamber Orchestra (2014)
for TTBB Chorus and Chamber Orchestra (2016)

Return to Gwyneth Walker Music Catalog
Read a review of The Tree of Peace (2006) for SATB chorus and piano by William R. Green, The Choral Journal.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SSA version) by the St. Louis Women's Chorale, Scott Schoonover, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SSA version) by the "Feminine Tone" Chorus.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SSA version) by the Indianapolis Women's Chorus.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB version) by the combined festival choruses at Aurora University, Lisa Fredenburgh, conductor
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB version) by the Davis High School Chamber Choir, Karen Gardias, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB version) by the Wichita State University A Cappella Choir, Tom Wine, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB version) by The Master Singers of Worcester and the Salisbury Singers, Malcolm Halliday, conductor.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB and orchestra) by the Western Colorado Chorale and the Grand Junction Symphony orchestra, Monte Atkinson, conductor.
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB and orchestra) by the Plymouth State College New England Choral Festival, Dan Perkins, conductor.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (TTBB and piano) by the Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Reuben Reynolds, conductor.

Download a PDF file of the choral score (SATB version) of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the choral score (SSAA version) of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the choral score (TTBB version) of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the orchestra score (SATB and orchestra version) of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the orchestra score (SSAA and orchestra version) of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.
Download a PDF file of the orchestra score (TTBB and orchestra version) of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.

Download an MP3 file of a MIDI demo of this work (SSAA and orchestra version).


Commissioned for the Iowa State University Women's Choirs, Kathleen Rodde, conductor, and the Iowa State Women's Choir Festival with support from Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc.

The text for The Tree of Peace has been adapted from the Quaker poem, "O Brother Man," by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892). This contemporary adaptation of the poem broadens the scope of the original with more inclusive language, opening with: "O, my brother and my sister, all who walk upon this earth, fold to your hearts each other."

A new text fragment, "Listen, listen to one another," is introduced into the poem, and serves as an interlude between stanzas. The final sentence of the original poem becomes the focal point of this work, returning man times: "Love shall tread out the fire of anger, and in its ashes plant a tree of peace."

The musical setting reflects the dual nature of the title, Tree (strength) and Peace (tenderness). The work opens with accented chords in the piano accompaniment. These chords are marked "with strength." This is the conviction of The Tree of Peace.

The tender aspects are introduced in the arpeggio patterns in the piano. These are marked "flowing." And the related choral phrases refer to humanity ("O, my brother and my sister"), to mercy and to the peace of the Lord. Passages of tenderness alternate and intertwine with passages of strength to form a confluence of the message: a prayer for peace.

Notes by the composer