Whenever we visited Gordon Jacob the first thing my children wanted to do was to sit on the big leather pig in his sitting-room. Gordon loved pigs and had an enormous collection: china, wooden, plastic - even a marzipan one that he couldn't bring himself to eat.
He was helping us to build our catalogue of pieces for young wind players, and it was the pigs that reminded him to introduce us to Alan Ridout, one of his ex-students at the Royal College of Music. Alan had written a piece for four bassoons called 'Pigs' as a gift to Gordon to add to his collection. Alan soon became one of our favourite composers.
Pigs eventually became Emerson Edition No.9. With a cover illustration by the legendary Bill Tidy it has remained a favourite since 1973