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
IV. Rondo: Allegro - Più mosso
Arnold Cooke: Piano Quintet
I. Andante - Allegro
II. Scherzo: Molto vivace
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 4-11)
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 (1757-1831), 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.
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