Alexander Kok wrote two books which are available to purchase. His first book was A Voice in the Dark, The Philharmonia Years which was published by Emerson and can be bought directly from June Emerson Wind Music.
His second book Not Particularly Attractive People? is published by Comfybadger Publications and can be bought in paperback from:
ALEXANDER KOK BOOKS
C/O Church Farm
Old Newtown, Stowmarket
A Voice in the Dark, The Philharmonia Years
His insights into the techniques of both orchestral playing and the particular subtleties of cello-playing make this a valuable text for all cellists. He was only nineteen when he was recruited for the first rehearsal of the legendary Philharmonia Orchestra, where he suddenly found himself in the world of experienced professionals. His career brought him into contact with many of the giants of the musical world and he brings them alive with sensitivity, coupled with acute observation.
Also available from The Strad Library, Amazon and good bookshops
Not Particularly Attractive People?
On December the 12th 1977 Sir Michael Howard, Emeritus Professor of Modern History at Oriel College, Oxford and also Professor of the History of War, was being interviewed by NEWSNIGHT at the Imperial War Museum. He was, amongst other things, asked to comment on the curious circumstance that the century was ending as it had begun: in 1999 with a war between the Russian Giant and the tiny Chechnya; and in 1899 with a war between the British Empire and the two Boer Repulics in South Africa. Sir Michael said: "Yes, this is so, but it need not distress us too much. The Boers were not a particularly attractive people. Just because they were small, all kinds of virtues were attributed to them which they did not necessarily possess." (BBC TV2, 10. 30pm.)
ISBN No. 978-0-9568533-0-1
Bobby continued writing until he passed away. Voices in the Dark, Memoires of an Afrikaner was a series of books which both expanded his writing from the original book and introduced new subjects and themes. In time this may yet be published. A brief outline of the books is shown below.
Mont Roth (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
"A copy of John Florrio's translation of Montaigne's Essays a contemporary and perhaps friend of William Shakespeare was given to me in 1946 by Clifford Bax (brother of the composer Sir Arnold Bax), a kind mentor who paid me the compliment of assuming that I would be able to understand a translation of a book written in old French by an Elizabethan scholar. Fortunately, E.J.Trechmann's remarkable translation of Montaigne's Essays helped me to clarify the wisdom of one of the world's survivors; a remarkable man who managed to bridge the Protestant and Catholic divide during troubled religious wars in France."
Theme and Variations (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
"Singing this little ballad in the early 1930's at an eisteddfod held near Johannesburg may have won me a prize, but since then I've had to learn, like most people, that society has not yet discovered how to deal with the consequences of injustice or rogue elements intent on disrupting the good intention of others. Nevertheless, just like the Timex advertisement of decades ago "I takes a lickin, but I keeps on tickin". "Reckon that yer'll find, m'lad, as life yer travel through, yer'll get heaps of lickins fer the things yer never do".
"In the summer of 1939 I didn't know that that my mother had already made arrangements to move to London with her four sons. Nor did I know when or why my father decided to come to London before threats and postures by Poland, Britain, France and Germany were to become the reality of World War II. But my father did arrive, unexpectedly, having journeyed from Northern Rhodesia a month before war was declared, to plead with his wife to return to South Africa before it was too late. She, however, was adamant: "The boys will remain in London to continue what has been started - we cannot change course now. You know that all the arrangements for the boy's education were made before you decided, on your own, to come to England".
Trek (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
NEAR THE END OF THE GREAT TREK MY GRANDMOTHER WAS BORN IN A VOORTREKKER'S "SHIP OF THE VELDT"
Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction,
and many there will be that go in thereat.
Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life,
and few there are that find it.
Twenty years of struggle to tame a wilderness, create a Republic, establish a farming community only to have the gravitas of Nationhood denied to the Afrikaner because of its mineral wealth.
European architectural traditions influenced architecture in Capetown until after 1836, when emerging Georgian grace during the reigns of the four four Hanoverian Kings was replaced with a more opulent decorative style in the long reign of Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Edwardian era provided a short-lived attempt to balance extremes of gloom during the long reign of Queen Victoria with compromises in the halcyon days of Edwardian optimism.
Father and Oppenheimer (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
"Dr. Leander Starr Jameson first met Cecil Rhodes in Kimberley and the two men began a close friendship that survived until Rhodes died on the 27th March 1902. As a trustee of Rhodes' estate and residuary beneficiary of his will, Dr. Jameson continued to live in Rhodes' mansion until he returned to England where he died in 1917. His body was returned to South Africa and buried in the Matopas Hills next to his friend. Rhodes' secretary Jourdan, who was present shortly after Rhodes' death, said "Jameson was fighting against his own grief as he nursed his friend. No mother could have displayed more tenderness towards the remains of a loved son".
Book 6 Part 1 and Part 2
The Philharmonia Orchestra (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
After an absence of nearly six years, famous names from Europe and America's musicians could again be heard in London's concert venues, providing music-lovers with an opportunity to hear live performances of their recorded music that had been a source of inspiration during the bleak years of World War II.
Prestige concerts were given at the Royal Albert Hall or the Central Hall, Westminster until 1951, when the Greater London Council added a third venue by opening the doors of the Festival Hall to the public for the first time in April of that year. Concert programmes, recorded by London's newly-established Philharmonia Orchestra were cut on wax masters at EMI's studios at Abbey Road or at the Kingsway Hall, Walthamstow, Wembley and Watford Town Halls, also used as recording venues. But it was the particular acoustic properties of the Kingsway Hall that helped to provide posterity with outstanding recordings made by colleagues in the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Elevated again and again to higher awareness by soloists in the orchestra's brass and woodwind sections, it was Mr. Legge's support, guidance and encouragement that enabled me to explore my own love of music and to meet, work and study with famous artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
VOICES IN THE DARK attempts to share some wonderful memories I have of the many occasions when Mr. Legge, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Herbert von Karajan and their eminent musicians, each in their own way, made playing on the first and last desks of the Philharmonia Orchestra so richly memorable and enduring for over fifteen years.
Como Annette 1954 (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
George Martin (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
Books 9 and 10
Photos (9), Sir George Martin (10) (VOICES IN THE DARK, MEMOIRS OF AN AFRIKANER)
ALEXANDER KOK BOOKS
C/O Church Farm
Old Newtown, Stowmarket