This Sunday (31/08/2014) will see another performance of my Morning Service (Te Deum and Jubilate, 2010-11) given by the St Paul’s Cathedral based female choir Aurora Nova. The performance will take place at the Matins service at 10.15 and will be conducted by Patrick Craig.
I’ve finally got round to putting up some recently composed pieces. They are as follows: Epitaph – an organ work for Roger Williams that will be performed in November, Exsultet – another organ work premiered at the LFCCM in May this year, Praeludium – for organ pedals, premiered by Ed Jones at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen in July, Third Service [Ely Cathedral] – a setting of the evening canticles which will be premiered by Ely Cathedral Girl’s Choir early next year and Threnos – a work for choir and cello which will be premiered by the Aberdeen University Chamber Choir in November. There are various recordings and YouTube videos that I’ve put up, though many of these have been superseded by the CD release. More to follow soon. PAC
Organist Ed Jones will give the premiere of my piece for pedals only Praeludium (2013) at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen this Saturday (19 July) in a recital inlcuding works by Bach and Vivaldi. Ed will also give another performance of my early organ work Elegy (2003) at Ely Cathedral during evensong on Friday 08 August. PAC
On Wednesday (14/05) the year of organ music continues with the world premiere of my new work Exsultet commissioned by the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and performed in this year’s festival by Leon Charles. The service is to be braodcast on BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong and features new works by Anthony Pitts, Roxanna Panufnik and Alexander Campkin. The service is broadcast at 15.30. Exsultet takes the opening words of the Easter Vigil as its inspiration, but more importantly it features a large quotation from a recent pop song – a free CD and a packet of biscuits if anyone recognises it!
It appears performances of organ music are like buses, you wait for one then several turn up at once. Assistant Director of Music at Worksop College (and former Queen’s College Organ Scholar) Charlotte Phillips will perform Elegy (2003) in the College Chapel on Wednesday 07 May at 19.30 in a recital of European Organ Music. There are further performances of Elegy planned later this year.
On Saturday 26 April, the distinguished organist Roger Williams will perform my early organ work Elegy (2003) at Settle Parish Church at 19.30. Roger has commissioned a new organ piece from me, Epitaph (I like cheery organ music…) which he will premiere in Aberdeen in November as part of the Sound Festival 2014. This is the beginning of a busy year of organ music for me, with another premiere in May of a new piece Exsultet as part of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music.
The excellent Chapel Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen University will perform my motet O sacrum convivium in Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday 6 April in the morning service. They will then perform the same motet, alongside two other motets of mine (Veni Sancte Spiritus and O lux beata Trinitas) in an evening concert at St Leonard’s Church, Hythe on the 10 April.
This coming week is an important one for me with various performances and other events. It begins today with a performance of my first setting of the Evening Service (2009) by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge in evensong in Cambridge tonight (13/03). Selwyn then take the piece to St Paul’s Cathedral in London for evensong there on Monday (17/03). Monday is also the launch of my new CD at Aberdeen University where I will be playing selections of the disc and talking about the recording. On Thursday (20/03) my 2012 work The Hazel Wood will be performed by Selwyn with Onyx Brass and Simon Hogan (organ) at St Bride’s, Fleet Street, London as part of the JAM concert. This concert will also be an unofficial launch concert where I will be giving a pre-concert talk and selling copies of the CD. I then travel to Chester on Saturday (22/03) to hear the Chester Music Society Choir perform the Bach Mass in B Minor – I shall begin writing the new oratorio for the choir later this year. PAC
I am very excited to announce that the first CD of my work will be released on the 14 April 2014. The CD, entitled Phillip Cooke, Choral Music will be released on the Regent Records label and will be available to buy from all good record stores, the Regent Records website and from iTunes. It features 10 pieces of mine from 2008-12 all performed by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Tim Parsons (organ) and Onyx Brass – all conducted by Sarah MacDonald. There will be two ‘launch’ events: the first at Aberdeen University on the 17 March where I will be playing selections from the CD and discussing my work (as well as selling CDs…), the second will be at the JAM concert at St Bride’s, Fleet Street in London on the 20 March where Selwyn and Onyx will perform one of the tracks, The Hazel Wood in a concert that also features Paul Mealor’s The Farthest Shore. I will be giving a pre-concert talk before the concert and selling CDs as well.
To be honest, it hasn’t been the most productive second half of the year with various other commitments getting in the way of composing (teaching, moving house, Howells book, new baby…) but I have managed to finish three short choral pieces. The most significant is There is no rose which was written for Aberdeen’s leading chamber choir, Con Anima and performed twice over the Christmas period. Continuing the Advent theme, there is a short setting of the Matin Responsory and a little Wedding gift, Wedding Introit. It was a busy time with premieres and performances, and I have uploaded recordings of Veni Sancte Spiritus (Aberdeen University Chamber Choir, St Asaph Cathedral), O lux Beata Trinitas (King’s College Chapel Choir, Aberdeen, St Machar’s Cathedral), O Sacrum Convivium (ditto) and the Second Service (St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir, Aberdeen, St Andrew’s Cathedral). There is also a live recording of the premiere of the song-cycle Sudden Light by Jeremy Huw Williams performed at this year’s Sound Festival in Aberdeen. More to follow soon. PAC