Eric Coates (1886-1957)

Donald Macleod salutes a composer with a unique ability to match a national mood with music.

For five decades Eric Coates's music seemed to pervade the national consciousness, stirring the war effort, celebrating the Dam Busters and defining some of the nation's best loved radio and television programmes.

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Episodes

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01Singing For Your Supper20071224

Donald Macleod salutes a composer with a unique ability to match a national mood with music.

For five decades Eric Coates's music seemed to pervade the national consciousness, stirring the war effort, celebrating the Dam Busters and defining some of the nation's best loved radio and television programmes.A revolver at the Royal Academy and a premiere at the Proms, Coates's student years proved to be startlingly memorable.

02* Suites For My Sweetheart20071225

Coates is forced into a dramatic decision about his future, but suite success is not far away.

Donald Macleod also talks to Desert Island Discs host Kirsty Young, who reveals how the show's title music, Coates's By the Sleepy Lagoon, continues to inspire her.

Miniature Suite

BBC Philharmonic

Rumon Gamba (conductor)

From the Countryside Suite

BBC Concert Orchestra

John Wilson (conductor)

The Merrymakers Overture

London Symphony Orchestra

Charles Mackerras (conductor)

Valse (The Three Bears)

Four Ways Suite

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Penny (conductor)

By the Sleepy Lagoon

03Eric Coates Goes To Town20071226

As he moves into several addresses in and around London, thanks to his wife's hobby as an early property developer, Eric Coates falls in love with the city.

London (London Everyday)

Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)

Adrian Leaper (conductor)

London Bridge March

Royal Artillery Band

Maj Geoffrey Kingston (conductor)

London Again Suite

London Symphony Orchestra

Charles Mackerras (conductor)

Saxo-Rhapsody

Jack Brymer (saxophone)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Charles Groves (conductor)

The Seven Seas

BBC Concert Orchestra

John Wilson (conductor)

04* On The March20071227

As war is declared, Coates's stirring marches came into their own.

And he pays musical tribute to the three Elizabeths of English royalty, music that came to be associated with another famous family.

The Enchanted Garden

BBC Concert Orchestra

John Wilson (conductor)

Calling All Workers

Adrian Boult (conductor)

Over to You

Royal Artillery Band

Maj Geoffrey Kingston (conductor)

London Calling; The Eighth Army

The Three Elizabeths Suite

East of England Orchestra

Malcolm Navarro (conductor).

05* Sound And Vision20071228

Coates wishes he hadn't given up cigarettes, flirts with politics and royalty, and starts his film career at age 68.

And to finish the week, a rare foray into chamber music and the composer's own favourite work.

Holborn; The Unknown Singer; The Green Land; Sweet Seventeen

BBC Concert Orchestra

John Wilson (conductor)

The Dam Busters

BBC Philharmonic

Rumon Gamba (conductor)

Impression of a Princess

High Flight

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Penny (conductor)

First Meeting

Michael Ponder (viola)

Eugene Asti (piano)

The Jester at the Wedding

Orchestra conducted by Coates