Cecil Coles

Cecil Frederick Coles was born at Kirkudbright, Scotland on 7th October 1888 and was educated at George Watson’s School, Edinburgh where in 1907 he won a scholarship to study at the London College of Music.  He later joined the Morley College Orchestra where he met Gustav Holst who was teaching music at the newly formed educational college for workers.  After attending Edinburgh University he won a scholarship for composition at the Stuttgart Conservatory and it was here that some of his early compositions were first performed.  At the end of his studies he was appointed assistant conductor at the Stuttgart Royal Opera where he met many of the day's leading musicians whilst taking a leading part in the city's English community.  He became organist and choirmaster at the English church St. Katherine's and it was here that he met his future wife, Phoebe Relton.  Returning to England in 1913, work was hard to find and for a time he toured with the Beecham Opera Company eventually settling down in London where he rejoined Morley College as a teacher of elementary harmony and sight-singing.  In July 1914 his dramatic cantata “Fra Giacomo?was performed at the Queen‘s Hall.  At the outbreak of the First World War he was immediately called up being already in the Queen‘s Victoria Rifles in which he was regimental Band Master.  He continued to compose even during action, sending manuscripts back to Holst, whenever possible.  During a period of withdrawal, a shell destroyed all the bands instruments (and some of his manuscripts) and on 26th April, 1918 he was killed by a German sniper whilst on active duty retrieving the wounded.

Piano Music

        Five little variations on an original theme (1908) [BDE 869]
        Five sketches [BDE 1034]
Gavotte (Revised version of Trianon Gavotte - see below)
        Intermezzo (1911)
        Nocturne in G minor (1904) [Piano duet]
        Rondo in A minor (1909)
        Sauteuse, La (Trianon Gavotte) (Date ?)
        Sonata in C minor (Date ?) [BDE 1079]
Sorrowful Dance (1917) [complete piano sketch by the composer with orchestral markings]
        Trianon Gavotte [BDE 289]
        Triste et Gai op. 10 (1908) [BDE 868]
Variations on an original theme in C minor (1908) [BDE 870]

Organ Music

        Cortège arranged by Barry Peter Ould [Behind the Lines Mvt. 3] (1917-18) [BDE 1111]        
        Two Fugues (1910) (edited by John Scott Whiteley) [BDE 1035]
1.    Fugue on the choral “Aus wer der lieber Gott lasst walten?br>           2.    Fugue on “The Old Hundredth?/font>

Voice and piano

        Benediction (1917) - ‘Grow old along with me?(Robert Browning) [BDE 1097]
        Du bist wie eine Blume (Heinrich Heine) (1909)?br>         Elegy (Thomas Moore)* (1907)
        Fra Giacomo (1914) [transcription by Jeremy Dibble] [BDE 1057]
        Gladsome fray, The (Words by Cecil Coles) for baritone and piano (Date ?) [BDE 1116]
        Glückes genug (1909/1916) (Detler von Liliencron) [BDE 1118]
        Homeward bound (1906) for baritone and piano (Words by Cecil Coles) [BDE 1119]
        Hör ich das Liedchen klingen (Heinrich Heine) (1909)?br>         In absence (Arthur Weir) (Date ?) [BDE 1120]
        Invocation (1906) [Scene from Goethe's Faust] (Part 2, Scene 1 intended for soprano and orchestra) [BDE 1121]
        Moissons, Les (Alfred de Musset - English text by Florence Gillham) (Date ?) [BDE 1122]
        Leise zieht durch mein Gemüt (1909) (Heinrich Heine)?br>         Sea shadows (Fred Anderson) (Date ?) [BDE 1123]
        Sigh not thus (1907) (Thomas Moore)*
        Tis?love that murmurs (Thomas Moore)*

        *published as 'Three Thomas Moore Songs' [BDE 1114]
        †published as Three Heine Songs [BDE 1117]

Choral Music

        Festival Te Deum for SATB soli, SATB choir and organ (1911)
        Mass (Date ?)

Chamber Music

        From the Scottish highlands for 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and piano
        In the cathedral (1907): Poem for Violin, Viola and Cello - duration ca. 6'15" [BDE 1112]
        In the cathedral (1907): Reverie for Piano (harp) and Strings - duration ca. 6'15" [BDE 1113]

        Marquise, La [Morceau Gracieux] (1909) for Violin and piano - duration ca. 1'30" [BDE 1110]
        Reverie “The sorrows of Werthe?(1907) for Violin and piano - duration ca. 2'45" [BDE 1109]
        Rondo in C (1909) for Viola and piano
        Sonatina in B flat (1906) for Violin and piano - duration ca. 11'30" [BDE 1091]
        String Quartet (Date ?) for 2 Violins, Viola and Cello - duration ca. 11'15" [BDE 1101]

        Triste et Gai (1908) for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Cornet (Trumpet) and 2 Violins - duration ca. 2'45" [BDE 292]

Military Band

        ‘Kitchener’s Army? March for military band (1915) (edited by Barry Peter Ould) [BDE 1100]

Orchestral Music 

Adagio in A flat for winds, strings and piano
        Allegro agitato for orchestra (Part of Opera ‘Fra Giacomo?
        Concerto Overture in E minor for orchestra (1904)

        Cortège arranged for large orchestra by Martyn Brabbins [Behind the Lines Mvt. 3] (1917-18)
        Cortège arranged for small orchestra by Philip Lancaster [Behind the Lines Mvt. 3] (1917-18)
        Estaminet de Carrefour for small orchestra [Behind the Lines Mvt. 1] (1917-18) (edited by Barry Peter Ould)
Fantasy in C for large orchestra (1905)
        Four Verlaine Songs for soprano and orchestra (1. Fantastic in appearance; 2. A slumber vast and black; 3. Pastoral: The sky above the roof; 4. Let’s dance the jig) (1909)
        Fra Giacomo: Scena for baritone and large orchestra (1914)
        From the Scottish Highlands: Suite for orchestra (1907) (1. Prelude: Presto scherzoso; 2. Allegro maestoso; 3. Idyll (Love scene): Larghetto; 4. Lament: Adagio non troppo e ben marcato)
   Introduction and Allegro from Piano Concerto in F sharp minor (1905)
        Overture: The Comedy of Errors (1911)

        Piano Concerto in F sharp minor for piano and orchestra (1905)
Rabbi Ben Ezra (Robert Browning) for solo voice, SATB choir and orchestra (piano sketch only)
        Rumours (Scherzo) [Behind the Lines Mvt. 4] (1917-18)

        Scherzo in A minor for large orchestra (1910)

        Sorrowful Dance arranged for orchestra by Martyn Brabbins [in preparation] (1917)       
        Sorrowful Dance arranged for small orchestra by Barry Peter Ould [in preparation] (1917)   
        Wayside Shrine, The {Behind the Lines Mvt. 2] (1917-18)

        Titles shown in italics are considered to be lost

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