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Martin Cooke

Eric Coates

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Does anyone play Eric Coates' piano arrangements on the organ? The new Priory DVD from Salisbury includes Dance in the Twilight which is rather fun - it's in the anniversary album published last year (?). Thomas Trotter plays Youth of Britain on his DVD from Birmingham Town Hall. Both work well - the former, surprisingly well. I've played Dambusters, of course, and I have just downloaded soem freebies - Flying High, Over to You, etc, to have a go at.

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I picked up (in a second-hand shop in Aldeburgh, of all places) a piano copy of 'The Three Elizabeths Suite'. I used to have an LP of George Blackmore playing TV signature tunes on a Wurlitzer, including one of the movements ('Halcyon Days - Elizabeth Tudor' although described as the Elizabeth of Glamis movement) which had been used as the theme tune for 'The Forsyte Saga'. I haven't got round to trying it on the organ, but it would sound good.

 

At the same time, I bought 'English Country Dances' by Edward German, which looks to have potential. I have Lemare's transcription of 'Morris Dance' from 'Henry VIII', which goes down well at recitals.

 

Where did you get the freebies, please?

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Where did you get the freebies, please?

I found a site called 'classicscore' - all very interesting and lots of stuff I'd not seen in IMSLP, but it doesn't work any more! It appears to be hosted by a Russian web-hosting company and wither something has gone wrong, or, as the error message says, classicscore has violated the rules - whatever that might mean!

 

I paid £30+ for my second hand copy of Thee Elizabeths on ebay - I must be insane - especially as I saw that it was available on classicscore - not that I can reach it there now.

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...the error message says, classicscore has violated the rules - whatever that might mean! reach it there now.

 

Breach of copyright, perhaps?

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I love and hate Coates on the organ. Love because I love the music; hate because it's just not the same without the counter-melodies and other 'layers'.

 

In spite of these reservations, I've been known to give In the Country (Meadow to Mayfair) and Covent Garden (London Suite) an airing at Harvest Festival, playing from the solo piano version.

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I once heard someone on 'The Organist Entertains' a few years back pointing out that much of Eric Coates's output was surprisingly 'samey', though not in a particularly critical way. This meant one could play various of his works two at a time! He demonstrated this by a rendition on a theatre organ of 'The Dambusters March' and 'Calling All Workers' (the signature tune to the radio programme 'Music While You Work'), and the two themes did indeed fit together remarkably well. I don't know whether he had had to tweak them to fit, as it were, but if he did it wasn't immediately obvious.

 

I can't recall who the artist was, possibly Richard Hills. If not, it was someone with a comparable fabulous technique.

 

CEP

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