In light of St Patrick's Day having taken place this week, Radio New Zealand Concert have featured Irish composers in their Composer of the Week series, including one name very familiar to me, the relatively obscure but not completely insignificant William Vincent Wallace. One of Wallace's piano works entitled Annie Laurie Variations formed the basis for a guitar duet arrangement that I prepared specially for the Alberton DVD. The arrangement follows closely the form of the original piano work however some of the melody accompaniments are my own invention, re-written idiomatically for the guitar.
William Vincent Wallace, easily confused with the Scottish composer William Wallace, by all accounts lead a most colourful life traveling all corners of the globe. The New Zealand Papers Past web site has an 1895 newspaper article entitled William Vincent Wallace describing what was then known of the composer's life from a New Zealand perspective. The many tales relating to Wallace's escapades make entertaining reading however they should most probably be taken with no more than a grain of salt. Unfortunately though it does appear to be true that he left his first wife stranded in Sydney, Australia (leaving behind a huge amount of debt) and later, having become an American citizen, married again in New York.
Further information about William Vincent Wallace can be easily found via Google search and Wikipedia. According to Radio NZ Wallace has his own dedicated web site but I'm yet to find it. It appears to be about as elusive as the man was himself!