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Three String Sonatas
Susanne Stanzeleit, violin; Raphael Terroni, piano
Label name
British Music Society

Work Title


Cooke possessed a personal voice and a comprehensive compositional technique which was at all times completely assured. In addition, there is an emotional understatement in these works which is essentially English in the best sense and fully characteristic of Cooke the man. This is all excellent music, and the interested listener may rest assured that these compositions will not grow stale – there is much here that is not always fully revealed at a first hearing.
Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, 7/1/2006

Arnold Cooke, who died last year, has not yet received his due. This enterprising triptych of world premiere recordings courtesy of the British Music Society to mark his centenary year may help kick-start a revival of interest in his music (he left six symphonies, a clutch of concertos, five string quartets and much else besides). The Second Violin Sonata of 1951 contain[s] stylistic traits of [Hindemith] but, closer to home, admirers of Rawsthorne will also recognise a kinship in the impeccable craft, keen intellect and bracing sense of purpose on show. Which is absolutely not to imply that Cooke’s music lacks heart: a generous lyrical impulse and touching grace inform the central Andante con moto of the violin sonata in particular. Unfailingly sympathetic performances, one and all, with a special word of praise for Raphael Terroni’s admirably spruce pianism. Sound and balance, too, are eminently truthful, and this rewarding disc can be given the warmest of welcomes.
Andrew Achenbach, The Gramophone, 9/1/2006

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