• Judith Weir
  • Sketches from a Bagpiper's Album (1984)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • cl/pf
  • Ebcl+Basset Horn.ssx/pf
  • 9 min

Programme Note

These three pieces form a very short instrumental opera (lasting about nine minutes) based on the life of James Reid, a bagpiper in Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army, who was captures by the English in 1746 and executed, after a judge had classified the bagpipes as a weapon.

The melodies were built out of the basic intervals of Scottish pipe tunes: the piano is used to reinforce and modulate the clarinet melody, rather than to accompany it.

The three pieces are: Salute; Nocturne (in this case, a fast, nervous march); and Lament.

Sketches from a Bagpiper’s Album was written in 1984 for the clarinettist Kevin Corner, who commissioned much new clarinet music and encouraged many composers to write it, before his untimely death at the age of 35.

© Judith Weir


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