Gwyneth Walker

Four Duets

for Oboe and Clarinet (2023)

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Download a PDF file of the full score of this composition. This score may be printed and duplicated for the purposes of performances.

Download a PDF file of the parts of this composition.

Commissioned by Triple Threat, Kristin Sarvela (oboe) and Patricia P. Card (clarinet) of Sam Houston State University

These four short movements are intended to offer a variety of expressions for the two woodwinds. The fOrst expression, Daylight, is one of calling out to one another at the start of the day. With this Calypso lilting rhythm, one might imagine the players greeting one another down by the wharfs as the boats come in.

In Crossing Paths the instruments often echo one another in the same range, i.e., crossing paths. Repeated sustained notes (marked "airy sound") are intended to offer support and comfort to the other instrument, carrying the melody.

Aha! In Especially Eighths, it becomes evident that this composer, and these players, enjoy rhythms, especially when 8th-notes are involved. The 8th-notes are either played as pitches, or as vocal sounds: "t-k-t-k-ta."

The last movement, Walk with Grace, is primarily a melodic expression. The theme (which arrives in the clarinet in m. 3) is presented in a slow, walking tempo. This theme returns through the movement. But often it is embroidered with grace notes. These "secondary" notes become a strong focus of the music, which ends with grace notes. One might consider this movement to be a blessing, that we might all walk with grace throughout our lives.

Notes by the composer