During a recent search of the darkest archives of the Semperoper in Dresden, a Magnetophon tape of a concert given there in March 1958 has been unearthed, a perhaps-surprising tribute to the then recently late Eric Coates, who had died on 21 December 1957. Karl Böhm conducts, an unlikely champion of the Englishman’s ‘light’ output, and he also makes a witty speech to explain his fondness for Coates’s music, if ending “wir werden nicht spielen der Dam Busters marsch”. Pieces include the two London Suites, The Three Elizabeths, and The Three Bears. There is it seems a connection between Staatskapelle Dresden and Coates the man, for as a young budding viola-player he auditioned in Dresden but failed to secure the vacant position.


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