There was another good review of my recent CD Phillip Cooke, Choral Music, this time on the website Planet Hugill by the composer, singer and blogger Robert Hugill. His in-depth review states ‘Phillip Cooke has a personable and characterful music voice…and the final two [pieces] give hints at what he is capable of when writing in a more extended form’. He says lovely things about many of the pieces including: ‘wonderful evocation of certain type of rhapsodic English melancholy’ [Invocation] and ‘a highly effective piece, wonderfully well wrought’ [The Hazel Wood]. The full review can be read here.
There has been a further positive review of The Music of Herbert Howells in the latest edition of International Piano Review. The review (which mainly focusses on the piano music) states that it is an ‘informative collection of essays’ and that there are ‘useful and pertinent insights afforded by this welcome volume.’ Nice.
A nice review on the online review site www.crossrhythms.com can be found here. It refers to the CD as a ’splendid new release’ and states ‘Cooke is influenced by his homeland and writes music that is both original and approachable’ – I’ll take that. PAC
There has been another good review of the book in the current issue of The Musical Times, the esteemed musicologist Arnold Whittall refers to ‘particular clarity from the generally well-crafted essays’ and quotes me twice. I think that is a good thing.
There is a really nice review of The Music of Herbert Howells in this month’s Gramophone. The review, by Geraint Lewis, states: ‘This book…is a handsome volume…and astonishingly detailed’, ‘Phillip Cooke himself uncovers the sensuous radiance of the Gloucester Service and its legacy’, ‘Anyone who wants to know anything about Howells will find this book both treasure trove and invaluable extension to the existing bibliography’. Nice.
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.
There have recently been two favourable reviews of my recent book on Herbert Howells, The Music of Herbert Howells which came out in October. Classical Music Magazine referred to it as ‘a highly welcome scholastic overview of broad swathes of Howells’s output’ and praises the contributions by Byron Adams and Graham Barber. The TLS referred to the book as ‘an excellent resource for anyone who wants to understand fully Howells’s…musical landscape’. Not too bad I guess.
As you can see, my copies of The Music of Herbert Howells (the book that I co-edited) arrived this morning. Very rewarding and fulfilling. It is, however, a bad hair day and the wallpaper is a little ‘vibrant’…
As of March 2013 all of my instrumental, chamber and orchestral works are available to purchase through Arcomis. Here full scores, digital downloads and full sets of parts are available. Check out my works by visiting here.
There was a nice review in the St Andrews Citizen of the recent JAM concerts and my piece The Hazel Wood. Here they stated ‘A striking response to a dramatic and poignant text, the composer found a wonderfully rich palette of choral and instrumental sounds, particularly in his imaginative use of the brass quintet.’ That was nice. In a review for the university, Alan Cooper stated ‘Choir, organ and the Red Note Brass Quintet were the forces used in The Hazel Wood. A throbbing heartbeat on organ pedals was later echoed by the brass. Once again a soprano soloist was featured most beautifully above, at one point, a floating cloud of female voices and as in Cooke’s previous work, trumpets featured strongly. What impressed me most though was the way in which tonal textures of choir, organ and brass were managed in such a way that they could be merged perfectly together when required. The sounds of choir, organ and brass are a classic combination and Phillip Cooke’s work defined the blend as special.’ That was also nice. PAC