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Song of Albin by Wallace


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About This Work

Composer:  Frank Wallace 

Description: Suite in G minor–six movements for solo guitar honoring Wallace’s Scottish ancestors; some Celtic influence, but also a brief session of 12-tone music in the final movement to heighten the tension of the conclusion. David Isaacs describes the pieces in his Sept. 2011 review in Soundboard:

These are rich, intricate concert works that would work well as a set or individually. Embedded within these works are fascinating, dense harmonies; complex contrapuntal textures; several extensive shifts; and some challenging slur techniques…In addition to the wonderful music contained on these pages is the beautiful physical presentation that comes from GYRE. An original piece of artwork, often a photograph from Wallace’s wife Nancy Knowles, graces each cover, the music is well-organized, it is easy to read, and contains plenty of essential left hand fingerings.

The set begins with Reviresco where the simple, lilting, rhythm gradually gives way to intricate rhythmic sequences and scale passages as it passes through 7 different time signatures. My Trust introduces the slur technique in which the second note of a descending slur is accompanied by another plucked note. This technique takes some advanced hand and finger independence and is not easily accomplished at a rapid tempo. This second movement will push the player’s interpretive chops to new heights as it weaves long shifts, rhythmic schemes, slurs, and modern harmony around gorgeous melodic lines. In the third movement, The Glen of Ellerslie, Wallace develops a three-note motif over rhythmic displacement, octave displacements, adds harmony at varied times to the beginning, middle, or end of the motif, creates counterpoint lines, and transcends the fretboard in the process. Birling is the simplest and shortest movement in the set and a magnificent piece to introduce a young player to Wallace’s beautiful sense of melody while giving a player who takes on the entire suite a breath to relax. The fifth movement, Cuthon, maintains a fairly constant rhythmic theme throughout while adding drama through harmony and the use of specific single strings for widely spaced melodies. Red Lion concludes the suite with quintuplet and sextuplet arpeggios, no time signature, and a breadth of atonal harmony with resolution in the final two bars.


I. Reviresco

II. My Trust

III. The Glen of Ellerslie

IV. Birling

V. Cuthon

VI. Red Lion

Opus #: 13

Instrumentation: Guitar

Era: 21st Century

Form: Suite Movement

Type of Work: Solos

Nationality: American

Parts:  Score

Pages: 16

Written: 2003

Duration: 18 minutes

Difficulty level: Very difficult, highly contrapuntal textures, stretches and thick chords

Publisher: Gyre Publications


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