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George Walker: Concise and Precise

September 01, 2017
“When you can’t get beyond Sibelius, you’re an idiot! There are wonderful things in the [Sibelius] Fourth Symphony; it happens to be my favorite, but please don’t disregard all the other works. You can’t listen to Stravinsky? You can’t listen to Gershwin? Oh, please.”

If there’s any quality that distinguishes all of the music of George Walker, who at the age of 95 is still actively composing, it’s its conciseness and preciseness. Walker often creates visceral music, but his orchestral, chamber, solo piano, and vocal compositions are also filled with moments of tenderness and beauty even though, for Walker, beauty might be a by-product but it is never an explicit goal.

After watching this video presentation by Molly Sheridan, read a transcript of Walker’s entire conversation with Frank J. Oteri on our own NewMusicBox.

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