Roger Sacheverell Coke
The well-known phenomenon of the forgotten composer is intriguing, multifaceted and frequently beguiling. The irrefutably unforgiving vocation has seen innumerable artists sacrifice enormous energy, time and money to their endeavours and in spite of often garnering significant success during their lifetime, the music languishes for decades or more in the abyss before ultimately - one hopes - being rediscovered and re-introduced to the musical world. A number of elements can ultimately bring about this demise, from domestic circumstances, through social status, mental afflictions and financial background among many other factors. It can be a hugely rewarding venture for a musician to unearth these rarities which are often musically and artistically of a very high quality. Roger Sacheverell Coke is a perfect example, and it on this composer and his music that my PhD research at the Royal Northern College of Music was focused. His music is inextricably linked to his background and sense of identity, as well as to the multiple obstacles that fell onto his path during his 60 years. While not consistently successful, his music warrants a thorough exploration and a complete understanding of the man can only enhance the experience of discovering his oeuvre.