Harvey Davies

Harvey is undertaking a large-scale project to make the world première recordings of much of the chamber music with piano by the neglected 20th century English composer Arnold Cooke (1906-2005).

The composer wrote in all traditional concert genres including six symphonies, ballet music, two operas, concerti, vocal and choral music and a large body of chamber music which has been ignored after its initial success.

To date, Harvey, with his group the Pleyel Ensemble, has recorded the complete violin sonatas, piano trio, quartet and quintet, both oboe sonatas, the two piano sonata, clarinet trio and quartet and smaller works for oboe, flute and clarinet with piano.

The ‘Chamber Music of Arnold Cooke’, a series of four CDs is being recorded for MPR Records and will be released over the coming twelve months. November 2018 has seen the release of the ‘Complete Violin Sonatas’.

Harvey’s research has included identifying reasons for Cooke’s neglect as well as developing a sense of his music’s context in the canon. As there is no biography of Cooke, Harvey has undertaken a large amount of biographical research and tracked down a large quantity of previously unknown correspondence from Cooke to colleagues and friends.

The thesis will focus on Cooke’s chamber music with piano with chapters on stylistic analysis, elements of performance practice and evidence of the performance history and reception of Cooke’s music.’