Author Topic: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)  (Read 5610 times)

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ChamberNut

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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« on: November 06, 2008, 12:35:31 PM »
Well, yet another visit to the local library today....and I made a great discovery!!

I grabbed a Hyperion label CD of a composer whose name I had never heard of.  His name being Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, born in London, England.

I just finished listening to his Opus 1 Piano Quintet in G minor, and was floored!!  It's fantastic.

The Nash Ensemble CD also includes the apparently wonderful Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor, Op. 10, and the Ballade in C minor, Op. 73 for violin and piano.

He died of pneumonia at the young age of 37.  Many of his works have only just been recently published.

I thought I'd start his own "Composer's Thread".

I would welcome any recommendations of his works and performances thereof, and any other information.


Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2008, 05:22:23 PM »
Hello Ray  -  :)  On a long weekend trip to the Carolina shore, but brought a laptop along & have 'wireless' in the room (spouse is quite happy!).

Believe that I have that disc mentioned - CHECK HERE - just a few comments in the 'listening thread' - have not explored him any further since that post - so lookin' forward to more discussion here!  Dave   :)

ChamberNut

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2008, 05:33:33 PM »
Hello Ray  -  :)  On a long weekend trip to the Carolina shore, but brought a laptop along & have 'wireless' in the room (spouse is quite happy!).

Believe that I have that disc mentioned - CHECK HERE - just a few comments in the 'listening thread' - have not explored him any further since that post - so lookin' forward to more discussion here!  Dave   :)

Thanks for that link Dave.  Yup, that's the one.  Both the Piano Quintet and Clarinet Quintet are fantastic late romantic works.   :)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2008, 06:20:00 PM »
Coleridge-Taylor's father was from Sierra Leone and his mother was English so he was known as the first British "black composer" and the "African Mahler".

His Oratorio "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast" used to be a staple of choral societies here and is a marvellously warm-hearted, lyrical work! It is the first part of a trilogy of oratorios called 'Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha' but the other two parts are not so memorable.

The Symphony in A minor(on a Classico cd) is pretty feeble, in my opinion, but the Violin Concerto has been recorded a number of times and is a very pleasant work in the Romantic tradition, Dvorakian I suppose you would call it(I have the Hyperion disc with Anthony Marwood as soloist, coupling is Arthur Somervell's Violin Concerto).

A fine composer whose life was sadly too short!

Offline Brian

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 07:54:37 PM »
You, sir, have just got to hear his fabulous violin concerto - admittedly the outer movements are "typical" romantic-era stuff, but that slow movement is meltingly beautiful. One of those rare moments where I've thought, "Where has this music been all my life?!"

It's also worth seeking out W E B Du Bois' essay about Coleridge-Taylor, though his main concern is using C-T's life as an argument for racial equality. But an interesting account of his life and reception in Britain. :)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2008, 06:29:37 AM »
The Violin Concerto is indeed a delightful work....but don't forget to try 'Hiawatha's Wedding Feast' too :) You will be amazed at how such a tuneful and incredibly attractive work should have disappeared from the repertoire! For two or three decades it ranked with Handel's Messiah and Mendelssohn's Elijah as the most popular choral work in Britain.

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 10:56:10 AM »
Currently listening to Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto for the first time:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/5jnX_W4YWOU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/5jnX_W4YWOU</a>

This is the first piece of Coleridge-Taylor's music I have heard, and - Wow, this is absolutely beautiful music. So romantic, and so lyrical, charming and poetic. I really enjoyed this piece very much. So, what does everyone else think of his music? I barely see his name mentioned at all...

I am very keen to listen to more of his music! :)
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Offline Brian

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012, 11:00:20 AM »
Currently listening to Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto for the first time:
This is the first piece of Coleridge-Taylor's music I have heard, and - Wow, this is absolutely beautiful music. So romantic, and so lyrical, charming and poetic. I really enjoyed this piece very much. So, what does everyone else think of his music? I barely see his name mentioned at all...

I am very keen to listen to more of his music! :)
The slow movement of that concerto is especially memorable! Nearly unforgettable in fact. I know there is also a Hyperion CD of his chamber music, which I heard many years ago on a library check-out but do not remember.

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 11:05:40 AM »
The slow movement of that concerto is especially memorable! Nearly unforgettable in fact. I know there is also a Hyperion CD of his chamber music, which I heard many years ago on a library check-out but do not remember.

Oh, absolutely. The slow movement was exquisite. The piece has just come to an end, what a heartfelt ending full of desire and beauty. This really is a great work, I have really really enjoyed it, and am repeating sections now. Now to get everyone else to listen to it! ;)
Yes, on looking on amazon for his works, I see that Hyperion cd which looks tempting! I'll certainly be wanting to own a recording of the violin concerto, and that Naxos cd of his orchestral works looks very nice too. :)
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 11:36:06 AM »
Yes, on looking on amazon for his works, I see that Hyperion cd which looks tempting! I'll certainly be wanting to own a recording of the violin concerto, and that Naxos cd of his orchestral works looks very nice too. :)
They are both very good (if by Naxos you mean the Marco Polo disc).
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 11:40:41 AM »
They are both very good (if by Naxos you mean the Marco Polo disc).

Thanks for the feedback, Neal. Yes, this one:


Have had a listen to the Amazon excerpts, and they sound absolutely delightful. The Hiawatha Overture in particular sounds very beautiful.

Also, in terms of the violin concerto, it is the Marwood (BBCSSO/Brabbins) that I have been listening to for the last 2 hours, which is absolutely wonderful. I see there are two other recordings, how do they compare? :)
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Offline Brian

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2012, 11:43:20 AM »
Also, in terms of the violin concerto, it is the Marwood (BBCSSO/Brabbins) that I have been listening to for the last 2 hours, which is absolutely wonderful. I see there are two other recordings, how do they compare? :)

I have the recording from South Africa with Graffin, and it's quite good, but not so good that you should run out and buy it instead of Marwood's (especially since the pairing is the much more common Dvorak). I don't know the third recording, but McAslan is a very good violinist and the coupling of the Romance makes it tempting, since that is a good piece too.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2012, 11:47:28 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, Neal. Yes, this one:


Have had a listen to the Amazon excerpts, and they sound absolutely delightful. The Hiawatha Overture in particular sounds very beautiful.

Also, in terms of the violin concerto, it is the Marwood (BBCSSO/Brabbins) that I have been listening to for the last 2 hours, which is absolutely wonderful. I see there are two other recordings, how do they compare? :)
Hiawatha is excellent indeed. I have a couple more discs with wth a few of his pieces, but I've enjoyed absolutely everything I've heard.

Marwood is the only one I know. I've heard good things about the one on Lyrita.
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2012, 12:03:13 PM »
Thanks Brian and Neal for the feedback. I'll probably get Marwood's first, I'm still listening to it on youtube after 3 hours!!! It's just such a beautiful work! :) Yes, I can imagine the McAslan being very good too, and as you say, Brian, the full Coleridge-Taylor programme makes it even more tempting.

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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 12:34:56 PM »
Thanks Brian and Neal for the feedback. I'll probably get Marwood's first, I'm still listening to it on youtube after 3 hours!!! It's just such a beautiful work! :) Yes, I can imagine the McAslan being very good too, and as you say, Brian, the full Coleridge-Taylor programme makes it even more tempting.
Petite Suite is probably my second favorite after the concerto - you may have heard that one (it's on the Naxos disc). There is also a symphony that can be found separately or from this box (it's a student work, which may still interest you - I really enjoyed it):


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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2012, 08:55:23 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, Neal. Yes, I heard a few excerpts from the Petite Suite on Amazon, sounds like a delightful work! Shall also be interested to hear that symphony. :)

Currently listening to the violin concerto again, such an incredibly beautiful, exquisite work! :)
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2012, 01:27:52 PM »
I have been listening to the violin concerto so much since discovering it a few days ago, always listening to the slow movement and the last few minutes of the finale. It's just such a divine, beautiful work! :)  0:)
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2012, 10:34:42 PM »
I have been listening to the violin concerto so much since discovering it a few days ago, always listening to the slow movement and the last few minutes of the finale. It's just such a divine, beautiful work! :)  0:)
You may enjoy reading about him. Hyperion have two discs of his - the pdf files to the booklets are available at the site (including the violin concerto you have been enjoying).
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 09:34:20 AM »
You may enjoy reading about him. Hyperion have two discs of his - the pdf files to the booklets are available at the site (including the violin concerto you have been enjoying).

Neal, thank you very much for telling me of this. I shall make sure to take a look. :)
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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2014, 10:24:38 AM »
BOY, I made one post here back in 2008 - just had the Piano & Clarinet Quintets, more recently, I added the Violin Concerto & 24 Negro Melodies; today, Hiawatha arrived (below quoted a post left in the listening thread) - I can see (i.e. hear) the popularity of this oratorio back then - mainly chorus w/ intermingled 'solos' (done well especially by Terfel); beautiful music; the 3 parts are: 1) Hiawatha's Wedding Feast; 2) The Death of Minnehaha; and 3) Hiawatha's Departure.  Dave :)

Quote
Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel (1875-1912) - Hiawatha w/ Kenneth Alwyn, Welsh Orchestra/Chorus, and three soloists, including Bryn Terfel - just finished the short Kindle bio on the composer ('Black Mahler' was a nicknamed given him on his first visit to America) below - his 3-part oratorio based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's writings seemed to have been one of the most popular choral works around England in the early 20th century - 2 CDs about 2 hrs long - purchased used off the Amazon MP - several short reviews reprinted HERE - Dave :)