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19 June 2024
Arnold Cooke: Piano Trio, Quartet & Quintet

The Pleyel Ensemble

This is the latest release in its pioneering series of chamber music by Arnold Cooke with the Pleyel Ensemble in world première recordings of Cooke’s Piano Trio (1941-44), Piano Quartet (1948/49) and the mighty Piano Quintet (1969). Although Cooke studied for a while in Germany with Hindemith, his music has a very English feel with a gloriously romantic ‘Brahmsian’ influence. These are deeply satisfying compositions both to play and to hear and any lover of chamber music will undoubtedly enjoy the Pleyel Ensemble’s excellent and committed performances of these wonderful chamber works.


Arnold Cooke: Piano Trio I. Poco lento - Allegro II. Andante con moto III. Allegro molto - Presto - Lento - Prestissimo

Arnold Cooke: Piano Quartet I. Allegro ma non troppo II. Scherzo: Allegro vivace III. Lento IV. Rondo: Allegro - Più mosso

Arnold Cooke: Piano Quintet I. Andante - Allegro II. Scherzo: Molto vivace III. Andante IV. Allegro vivace - Più mosso

Recorded in The Carole Nash Room, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester on 30th August 2017 (Tracks 1-3) & 3rd-5th April 2018  (Tracks 4TRUE1)
Design: Hannah Whale, Fruition Creative Concepts
Recording Engineer: David Coyle
Recording Producer: Mike Purton & Heather Bills
Total Time: 79.06
Release Date: September 2019

The Pleyel Ensemble brings together some of the UK’s most experienced chamber musicians, many of whom work at the Royal Northern College of Music. The group comprises strings, wind and piano so offers a comprehensive overview of the chamber music repertoire. Formed in Manchester in January 2011 and directed by Harvey Davies and Heather Bills, the ensemble has now given over 250 concerts together and has an enormous and varied repertoire of chamber music. They are Making Music Recommended Artists for the 2019/20 season having been chosen for the second time in three years and have appeared at Music Societies and Festivals all over the UK.

The ensemble is named for the Classical composer Ignaz Pleyel (1757TRUE831), a brilliant musician and businessman, who, in addition to writing a large body of accessible chamber music, helped increase the popularity of this wonderful kind of music-making amongst amateurs and professionals as both music publisher and piano manufacturer in the early nineteenth century. To reflect this, their repertoire includes music by lesser-known 18th and 19th century composers. They are also particularly committed to performing British chamber music and have an active programme of commissioning works as well as championing composers who deserve yet better recognition such as Cooke, Berkeley and Alwyn.

The Ensemble runs its own concert series in Didsbury and Chapel-en-le-Frith presenting exciting projects such as the complete Haydn piano trios and Mozart’s complete works for violin and piano.

MPR105     View Booklet

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