Eric Coates (1886–1957) scarcely needs any introduction, since his is altogether the most distinguished name in British light music. Born in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, he was educated at The Royal Academy of Music and was an orchestral violist before injury forced him to give up playing and concentrate on composition. Here, we have the gentle serenade By the Sleepy Lagoon
(1930). Like so many of his compositions, this achieved wide familiarity as a BBC radio signature tune—in this case for the long-running Desert Island Discs
. Coates composed the piece originally for small orchestra, but later produced the version for larger orchestra used here.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2002