• Robert Walker
  • Five Summer Madrigals

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Programme Note

Robert Walker: Five Summer Madrigals

These five madrigals were written in 1986 in response to a commission from the Grimsby Bach Choir - a choir I had founded myself some fifteen years before. I was aware that little music is now written for such amateur choirs where once any composer worth his salt would have produced singable, approachable music by the yard. For amateurs the prim requirement is that the music should be fun to sing (an audience's involvement is perhaps secondary), though that does note mean it should be necessarily easy. Summer is Ycomen in is, like its more famous predecessor, a canon. That is, all the voices sing the same music but at different times, but I have contrived more complicated music which, amongst other things, manages always to sound the cuckoo's two notes on that word. The Pedlar's Song is from A Winter's Tale and is quite tricky. The Lily-white Rose also uses the device of a canon in the solo part but the alto sings the tune upside down. Why I should think John Skelton, the author of Merry Margaret, should have a stammer, I don't know, but it was a conceit that pleased me; and Hey Nonny Nonny Noe is nothing more than a romp. I have instructed the soprano at the end to sing "Like Julie Andrews". We shall see…We shall see…

© Robert Walker 1991