Commissions

Peace I Ask of Thee, O River

Composer: Gwyneth Walker

Arranger: Gwyneth Walker

Publication: E. C. Schirmer Music Company (2005)

Duration: 4:30

Program Notes:

Commissioned by the Women's HOPE Chorale (formerly the St. Louis Women's Chorale) in celebration of their 10th Anniversary Season

This choral setting is based on the traditional song, "Peace, I Ask of Thee, O River." New material has been added to form the accompaniment and to provide interludes between and after the verses. The intent of creating these additions was to enhance the image of the river as it flows through the song. And perhaps to expand upon the message of peace.

The work opens with an ascending scale, as a supplication. Then follows and arpeggiated "river" pattern which will recur many times in the song. The chorus enters with the first verse, which is followed by a section with new lyrics ("peace like the falling rain...like the floating cloud...). The chorale phrases are on fixed pitches, with the river flowing beneath. The second verse is presented, followed by an expanded return of the interlude. At the end, the lines descend and settle into a peaceful cadence.

- notes from Gwyneth Walker

 

 

 

 

Score Sample:

 

Voicing:

SSAA

Accompaniment:

Piano or String Orchestra

Themes:

Peace, Nature, Perseverance​

 

Lyrics:

traditional American

Peace, I ask of thee, O river, peace, peace, peace.
When I learn to live serenely, cares will cease.
From the hills I gather courage, visions of the day to be,

strength to lead and faith to follow, all are given unto me.

Peace, I ask of thee, O river, peace, peace, peace.
Peace like the falling rain,
like the floating cloud,

like the flowing stream,

like the gentle breeze as it whispers.

Peace, O river, peace.

Peace I Ask of Thee, O RiverGwyneth Walker
00:00 / 01:04
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