✶✶✶✶✶ ...very fine pianism...strongly recommended
Sacheverall Coke's name will mean little to the general musical lover, but this new recording - the first to be devoted entirely to his music - should do much to rehabilitate a gifted and original British composer (1912 - 1972) who is almost completely neglected. Thanks to Simon Callaghan's very fine pianism (regular readers will recall his excellent feature on the composer in the last issue) we now have a very good opportunity of rediscovering a composer whose music certainly does not deserve the scandalous neglect it has suffered in the 40-odd years since his death. Coke was a fine pianist himself, a friend of Rachmaninoff, and a person who suffered from various conditions which held him back socially. But his is genuine music by a genuine composer, and this excellently-produced CD is very strongly recommended to lovers of British music of the period. James Palmer
Little is known about Derbyshire pianist and composer R.S. Coke though he was clearly valued during his lifetime and there is an entry about him in Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Artists who admired his work include Eugene Goossens who conducted Coke's opera "The Cenci", Sir Henry Wood who conducted the composer's first symphony (broadcast on the BBC) and the Brosa Quartet who performed his chamber music. He was a friend of both Moiseiwitsch and Rachmaninov and dedicated his 2nd Symphony to Rachmaninov with his permission. Watch the trailer here.