Description: Arnold Cooke composed many works for oboe including two sonatas, a concerto and several pieces for chamber ensembles; however, his works are rarely performed. Through the analysis of form and tonality in his first oboe sonata, Cooke's musical style and influences become apparent. His musical style was primarily influenced by his teacher, Paul Hindemith, and can be characterized by traditional forms with the contemporary use of quartal harmonies and a variety of tertian sonorities. Cooke wrote music that is accessible for performers and audience members, and one way he achieved this accessibility is through the repetition of melodic ideas. In addition to exact melodic repetition, he also unified his works through fugue-like passages and sequences. Although he lived during a time of experimentation by many composers, Cooke maintained conservative elements in his music that he learned through his studies at Cambridge and through his studies with Hindemith. His first oboe sonata is tonal although he varied modes and used chromatic harmonies throughout. Cooke's clear writing and unique sound in his Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1957) provide oboists a solo piece for the repertoire that demonstrates a modern approach to the traditional style of composition.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Polk, Kristin Marie