The Observer, Stephen Pritchard
Roger Sacheverell Coke (1912-1972) was something of a tragic figure; wealthy, talented, well connected and the possessor of a formidable technique, he devoted his life to music, writing copiously for the piano, the orchestra and the stage. But despite all his advantages he could never find a publisher, resorting to his own money to put his music in front of an audience. The critics were harsh, questioning why in the mid-20th century he was writing florid, late-Romantic pieces such as the preludes and variations played so faithfully here by Simon Callaghan. The fevered, relentless chromaticism is hard to take but this is at least an opportunity to reassess a composer admired by Rachmaninov but already out of his time.