Poeme for Violin and Orchestra
This work was premiered by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with Cho-Liang Lin as violin soloist in 1991. It is a revised version of an earlier Violin Concerto.
Walker states that it is, "by no means a tranquil piece." It alternates, in his words, between an "intense lyricism" and "dramatic qualities, which you hear particularly in the final movement." It is dedicated to his mother in tribute to her extraordinary devotion to her family and friends. "I think," he said, "she would have liked the piece."
The ascending intervals that characterize the brief introduction to the first movement appear in similar statements in the other two movements. The violin cadenza in the first movement uses these intervals also in its pizzicato beginning. Following the return of the initital thematic material, the introduction is restated in a more rhythmic guise. In the second movement, solo violin excursions are framed by the dramatic opening measure that recurs at the end of the movement. The third movement follows the pattern of the first two in achieving its climactic moment near the middle of the movement.