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17 April 2024
Arnold Cooke: Complete Music for Oboe and Sonata for Two Pianos

The Pleyel Ensemble

The latest in the MPR series of music by the great English composer Arnold Cooke is his complete music for oboe. As well as the two sonatas for oboe with piano, we have the poignant Intermezzo for oboe and piano, one of Cooke’s last compositions and composed for none other than Léon Goossens for his 90th birthday and his quartet for oboe and string trio. Superbly performed by oboist Melinda Maxwell and the Pleyel Ensemble, this CD also has Cooke’s delightful Sonata for Two Pianos composed before World War 2 in Manchester where Cooke taught at the Royal Manchester College of Music.


Arnold Cooke: Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1957) I. Adagio - Allegro vivace II. Andante III. Allegro giocoso

Arnold Cooke: Sonata for Oboe and Harpsichord or Piano (1962) I. Lento - Allegro II. Adagio III. Rondo: Allegro vivace

Arnold Cooke: Intermezzo for Oboe and Piano (1987)

Arnold Cooke: Quartet for Oboe and String Trio (1948) I. Allegro non troppo II. Allegro ma non troppo III. Allegro moderato

Arnold Cooke: Sonata for Two Pianos (1937) I. Andante - Allegro II. Larghetto III. Molto vivace

Recorded in The Carole Nash Room, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester on 28th August 2017 (Tracks 11TRUE3) & 8th-9th September 2018 (Tracks 1TRUE0)
Design: Hannah Whale, Fruition Creative Concepts
Recording Engineer: David Coyle
Recording Producer: Mike Purton
Total Time: 75.48
Release Date: May 2020

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.

MPR108     View Booklet

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