Composed when he was 24 years old, George Walker’s Lyric for Strings is one of his most often performed works.
The Lyric for Strings fits into a category occupied by Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings or even perhaps Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto from his Symphony No. 5.
Like the Barber, originally composed as the slow movement to a string quartet, the Lyric was later adapted for string orchestra.
Though the work sounds on the surface less challenging than either the Barber or the Mahler, its key of F sharp minor does present problems for younger orchestras. For this reason, George Walker’s son has adapted the work for younger performers by changing only the original key, now F minor, making it more accessible.
Both versions are available through Keiser/Southern Music.