Cambridge University Library

Deryck Cooke Archive

Musical works

Deryck Cooke began writing music in his childhood, and appears to have produced several works while a student at Cambridge. It seems that he abandoned original composition altogether some time in the early 1960s, but this has not been established with certainty as several manuscripts are undated and unfinished. It is known that one of his pieces was published, and that another was broadcast on the BBC Third Programme (see below). The Archive includes a manuscript or donated photocopy of every unpublished piece listed, and the library holds Cooke's single published composition "Closing Time" (item no. 6 in volume M280.b.95.24)

Four (?) Housman Songs, for voice and piano (Nos. 2-4 only)
'2. By Wenlock Town' (Spring 1939) -- '3. Clun' (undated) -- '4. Envoi' (1949)

'Four Heine Settings', for voice and piano (undated; believed 1947)

'Twelve Sonnets to Orpheus', for voice and piano (1947)

'24 Very Brief Little Preludes', for piano (1949)

'Ten Sonnets of Shakespeare', for tenor and strings (1949; unfinished)

'Tam O'Shanter', for tenor, male chorus, piano and strings (1946-56; radio broadcast 1958)

'Closing Time', canzonet for T.T.B. (?1956); published by Curwen (1956).

'Dramatis Personae: Variations on a Theme of Robert Browning', for orchestra (1956-61; unfinished)

'Carol of Death', for unaccompanied mixed chorus (undated, ?1960s; unfinished)

Cooke's manuscripts also include several pages from seemingly abandoned compositional projects, together with an amount of juvenilia.

Also held in the Archive are several manuscripts of compositions by Cooke's friends including David Barlow (1927-75), Terence Dwyer (b.1922), William Mann (1924-89), Antony Roper (b. 1924), Stephen Wilkinson (b.1919)

For enquiries please contact music@lib.cam.ac.uk