• John Joubert
  • Music for a Pied Piper (1985)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the King's Singers and the Early Music Group

In memory of David Munrow

  • srec2lute2vn.bass viol.violone
  • AATBBB
  • 5 min
  • John Joubert
  • Robert Browning
  • English

Programme Note

John Joubert: Music for a Pied Piper

This setting of a section of Browning's poem The Pied Piper, is designed to evoke some of the spirit of David Munrow's famous radio programme of that name, taking as its principal musical material the theme tune - played on the sopranino recorder - which always used to introduce it. After a slow introduction in which the Piper summons the children of Hamelin with the "sweet soft notes" of his pipe, the tempo changes to that of the theme itself, gathering the children into a bustling and chattering crowd who run "merrily after/the wonderful music with shouting and laughter".

As someone who knew David Munrow from his early days in Birmingham, and for whose group, the Early Music Consort, I composed my song-cycle Crabbed Age and Youth, I intend this work to be both a tribute to him and a brief memorial portrait which attempts to capture one or two aspects of his versatile and richly gifted personality.
© John Joubert