Gwyneth Walker

Quapaw Quartet Proves Self Again

by Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Democract-Gazatte

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Read notes for Short Set for String Quartet (1993)

....The most talked-about piece on the program came just before intermission: Short Set for String Quartet by Gwyneth Walker, a Vermont-based composer and one-time tennis prodigy who likes to give her pieces whimsical tennis titles. The piece is divided into the six "games" of a tennis set, titled "A Splash of Cold Water," "River Song," "Scarcely a Scherzo," "Rhythm and Blues," "Shadow of Evening," and "Don't Step on My Toes," a lively dance number.

The quartet was at its best in the jazzy-bluesy segments, movements 1, 4, and 6, complete with extra-instrumental effects (tapping of fingers on the wooden parts of the instruments and toes on the floor, no doubt echoed from the audience). But it also shone in the "Rive Song," which featured a plaintive melody on the viola with the other three instruments providing realistic-sounding "river effects."

From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 30, 1994