Peter Hope's Sonata for Oboe and Piano was commissioned by the Ida Carroll Trust in memory of Lady Barbirolli, and was first performed by Richard Simpson (oboe) and Janet Simpson (piano) in the Barbirolli Room at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, on 6th June 2009, in a recital to celebrate her life and work. An additional version for solo oboe with string orchestra, harp and percussion is available.
The Sonata opens with a long, almost melancholic movement signed ‘moderato.’, followed by a dynamic scherzo presenting a satisfyingly contrasting trio. But even here, the mood is sad and reflective. Soon, the piece changes from that of remembrance to celebration in the final jazzy ‘eight in the bar’ number that Hope declares nods to his ‘semi-pro band playing’ during the 1940s. It is a very subtle bit of pastiche.
Hope has written and arranged for many internationally known names, including Jose Carreras and Kiri te Kanawa, and other composers including John Williams and James Horner. His original compositions include the Suite: Ring of Kerry (which won an Ivor Novello Award in 1968/9), a Trumpet Concerto, performed by Elgar Howarth, a Concertino for bassoon and orchestra, recorded by Graham Salvage with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and a Recorder Concerto, recorded by John Turner with the Manchester Camerata Ensemble. His Bramall Hall Dances, for recorder and guitar/piano are published by Forsyth Brothers Ltd. and have become a standard repertoire work for the recorder.