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ERIC COATES

Eric Coates was to become the greatest British composer of light music in the 20th century, though his education never looked to be leading him in that direction. He was born in the midlands of England, in the county of Nottinghamshire, in 1886. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, taking viola with the legendary Lionel Tertis, and composition with Frederick Corder. But it was as a violist that he earned his living, joining the famous Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood. From 1913 to 1919 he was principal viola, and a list of first British performances by that orchestra would indicate that he came into contact with all the most avant garde music of his day. Yet it was to be in the field of light music that he was to become famous.

It was the time of the radio, the BBC Light Programme with its demands for new music, and the need to brighten the country after the First World War, and above all it was the day of the ‘bright young thing’. It was the perfect scene for a composer who could produce a seemingly endless stream of easily memorable melodies. A publishing house commissioned him to write a major light music work for orchestra each year, while they were happy to take anything from him including his large output of songs.

Orchestras demanded that he conduct his own music with them, and he started a second career as a conductor of light music including many appearances with the BBC Theatre Orchestra. His music spoke to all generations, from those looking for nostalgia, to the very young, with his phantasies, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘The Three Bears’. He produced one major success after another, his music in the war years valuable to the morale of the nation, and included the stirring march for the Eighth Army to mark their Alamein victory in 1942 under General Montgomery.

Though he continued conducting his own music after the war, including definitive recordings of much of his output, his compositional career seemingly burned out. Then in a sudden flurry of activity he produced a number of fine works in his last years. That period included the Dambusters March for the film on that theme, the first time he succumbed to the many film music offers made to him.

He had so many successes, and his music became known to just about everyone in the UK, that it was thought he had a considerable output, but apart from his songs, it numbered less than fifty. Without doubt it was his training in classical music, and the years in the orchestra, that enabled him to write so fluently and so colourfully.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
The Seasons Naxos 8.504038


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Classical Composer | Conductor
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
100 FAMOUS MARCHES Altissimo
75442201072
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
25 FAMOUS MARCHES, Vol. 2 Altissimo
75442255362
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
BEST OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC Naxos
8.570575-76
Orchestral
Best of British Light Music, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.554709
Orchestral
Best of British Light Music, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.554710
Orchestral
Best of British Light Music, Vol. 3 Naxos
8.554711
Orchestral
Best of British Light Music, Vol. 5 Naxos
8.554713
Orchestral
BEST OF LONDON Naxos
8.572098-99
Orchestral
BRITISH FESTIVAL (A) Naxos
8.571088
Orchestral
BRITISH FILM MUSIC (UK ONLY) Naxos
8.554577
Orchestral
BURNING RIVER BRASS: Of Knights and Castles Dorian Sono Luminus
XCD-90277
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
CLASSICS GO TO WAR Naxos
8.570154-55
Orchestral
COATES, E.: 4 Centuries (The) / The 3 Elizabeths (E. Coates) (1953) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80191
Orchestral
COATES, E.: By the Sleepy Lagoon (Coates) (1926-1940) Naxos Historical
8.110173
Orchestral
COATES, E.: Calling All Workers / Springtime Suite (Coates) (1930-1940) Naxos Historical
8.110182
Orchestral
COATES, E.: Dam Busters (The) / London Suite Marco Polo
8.223445
Orchestral
COATES, E.: London Bridge / The Enchanted Garden / By The Sleepy Lagoon / Cinderella / Footlights (Pro Arte Orchestra, Robinson) (1958) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80890
Orchestral
COATES, E.: London Calling - Music for Wind Band Naxos
8.554488
Orchestral
COATES, E.: Songs Marco Polo
8.223806
Vocal
COATES, E.: Springtime Suite / Four Ways Suite Marco Polo
8.223521
Orchestral
DEMETRIOS: Phantom Phantasy Naxos Jazz
9501
Contemporary Jazz
Elizabethan Serenade: The Best of British Light Music Naxos
8.553515
Orchestral
ENGLISH SONG Naxos
8.557559-60
Vocal
MAGIC OF SPRING (THE) Naxos
8.557785
Orchestral
MARCHES (FAMOUS) Naxos
8.553596
Orchestral
STRIKE UP THE BAND! Naxos
8.557545
Orchestral
SVEN GORAN ERIKSSONS - Klassiska Favoriter Naxos
8.503135
Orchestral
TAUBER, Richard: Love's Serenade (1939-1947) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120752
Nostalgia
THREE ELIZABETHS (THE): A Musical Celebration of Britain through the Centuries Naxos
8.557032-33
Orchestral
TwoPianists Records: Impressions #1 TwoPianists
TP1039237
Vocal
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE GOLDEN WEST: Alla Marcia Altissimo
75442270262
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
VINTAGE TV AND RADIO CLASSICS Naxos
8.570332
Orchestral
Vocal Recital: Aler, John - MARSHALL, C. / FIRESTONE, I. / RASBACH, O. / SANDERSON, W. / PURCELL, E. / CHARLES, W. / SULLIVAN, A. Delos
DE3181
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Breedt, Michelle - ELGAR, E. / ARNE, T.A. / HORDER, M. / QUILTER, R. / COATES, E. / HARRISON, J. (Shakespeare Inspired) TwoPianists
TP1039077
Vocal
W.H. Smiths Vol. 16 (British Light Music) Naxos
8.554586
Orchestral
WORLD FAMOUS MARCHES Naxos International
8.990010
Orchestral

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 





 
 
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1:20:04 AM, 21 August 2014
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