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Light Fantastic: Eric Coates

Catherine Bott and John Wilson explore the supreme musical craftsmanship of Eric Coates with the help of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra focusing on one of his popular marches, and from 1935, The Three Men Suite.

It is characteristic of Light Music that it is direct in its appeal and uncomplex in its make up. In the years between the two World Wars, Eric Coates was the uncrowned king of the genre. Hugely popular and immensely successful, Coates prided himself on never being short of a tune. But as Catherine Bott and conductor John Wilson explain, Coates's musical talents were far in excess of merely having the ability to create a catchy melody.

By exploring Coates's various musical beliefs and influences, and examining his music in detail, they demonstrate a musician with a perceptive and eclectic ear, and a master musical craftsman.

Music featured in the programme includes The Knightsbridge March; The Three Men Suite as well as excerpts from Elgar, German and Delius.

Release date:


42 minutes


Role Contributor
Composer Eric Coates