skip to Main Content

A commendable revival of works dug out of the archives by the pianist himself

Coke Hyperion, James Manheim 

Coke Piano Concertos – Hyperion

British pianist Simon Callaghan has specialized in neglected 20th century piano music, and with this 2017 release, part of the Hyperion label’s successful and ongoing Romantic Piano Concerto series, he has turned to the almost completely forgotten Roger Sacheverell Coke, a composer and pianist who bankrolled much of his career out of his hereditary Derbyshire estate and numbered Rachmaninov among his admirers. The three piano concertos here certainly show the influence of Rachmaninov, but Coke seems at times to toy with the listener’s expectation of getting retreaded Russian Romanticism: sample the opening of the Piano Concerto No. 4 in C sharp minor, which sounds like pure Rachmaninov only to depart into less heroic gestures almost immediately. That concerto and especially the fragmentary Piano Concerto No. 5 in D minor (Coke was given to destroying some of his own finished works) combine the Rachmaninov idiom with darker, perhaps more personal moods and with variance in the relationship between piano and orchestra; the Piano Concerto No. 5 might have been the concerto that Sibelius never wrote.

The recording by Callaghan with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins does the work full justice. A commendable revival of works dug out of archives by the pianist himself.


You may also like to see...
Both performers are at their best in the striking slow movement
Beautifully performed
Deep-rooted conviction
A classy album of deep musicality and sensitivity
Bernhard Scholz And Josef Rheinberger
The performances on this disc are spirited, well-shaped and refined
Simon Callaghan played with breathtaking nuance in the extremely complex, intricate "Le jardin parfumé" by Kaikhosru Sorabji
Bernhard Scholz And Josef Rheinberger
Consummate ease and brilliance
Bernhard Scholz And Josef Rheinberger
Rapturous … highly recommended
Bernhard Scholz And Josef Rheinberger
Callaghan makes the case for both with flair and conviction
Bernhard Scholz And Josef Rheinberger
Sent into the shadows by Simon Callaghan ✶✶✶✶
Bernhard Scholz And Josef Rheinberger
The performances here are excellent, with Simon Callaghan making light work of the works' technical demands
Simon Callaghan’s interpretation was superb
Coke Hyperion
Callaghan once again shows himself to be one of the leading young British pianists
Record Review Simon Callaghan
Impressive pianism – BBC Radio 3 Record Review
Coke Hyperion
Callaghan's achievement of myriad tonal hues adds greatly to the allure
Coke Hyperion
Passion, total commitment …heartfelt affection
Coke Hyperion
Unquestionably deserves to be explored and celebrated
Coke Hyperion
Performances from all concerned are admirable
Warp And Weft, EMR CD043
Velvet-gloved pianism of ravishing sensitivity from Simon Callaghan
A display of exemplary musicianship
One of the festival highlights
English pianist Simon Callaghan presented an evening of captivating sound and fantasy which was rightly celebrated with enthusiastic ‘bravi’
Five Stars for Callaghan's Roger Sacheverell Coke CD on the Somm label
Simon Callaghan, a pianist who likes to experiment with rarely visited repertoire, has devoted much effort to the recovery of Coke
Callaghan with the Yorkshire Young Sinfonia
Played so faithfully here by Simon Callaghan
This release has been an exciting discovery
Commanding and virtuosic musicianship
Finely played, full of brilliance and virtuosity
Callaghan's spirited and skilful playing is impressive
An eloquent advocate
A new figure and force
Simon Callaghan proves the ideal partner, subtly weighting and detailing the music’s shifting harmonic and textural profiles
You will not be disappointed
Manner from on high
An adventurous selection of not-so-well-known sonatas delivered with aplomb
Back To Top