Author Topic: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)  (Read 8235 times)

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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2014, 12:32:42 PM »
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 :)

 
I was particularly interested in your Hiawatha find as I really enjoy his works and have been adding a disc or two each year. I never realized the overture, which I know and love, had more to it. That looks like a very interesting one and it gets some great reviews too. It's been wishlisted.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2014, 02:56:11 PM »
I was particularly interested in your Hiawatha find as I really enjoy his works and have been adding a disc or two each year. I never realized the overture, which I know and love, had more to it. That looks like a very interesting one and it gets some great reviews too. It's been wishlisted.

Hi Neal - loved my first listening of Hiawatha (need to wait until Susan is out of the house to 'pump up' the volume!) - now understand why the work was so popular - BTW, the book I mentioned previously is a cheap $2 Kindle purchase - it's 'historical fiction' (no references, footnotes, et al) and was based mainly on books & notes from his immediate family members - a very atmospheric presentation of late Victorian England and for me a much clearer picture of this choral trilogy's reasons for popularity.  Dave :)

Offline Scion7

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2015, 04:38:59 AM »
to be correct, the NY musicians gave him the nickname "African Mahler" ...
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) - some works list info
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2015, 04:42:34 AM »
Chamber Works with Opus number, where assigned:

   1        Pf Qnt, g, c1893, unpubd
   —      Cl Sonata, f, c1893, unpubd

   2        Nonet, f, pf, vn, va, vc, db, ob, cl, hn, bn, 1893, unpubd
   3        Suite de [4] pièces, vn, pf/org, 1893: Pastorale, Cavatina, Barcarolle, Contemplation
   —      Pf Trio, e, 1893, unpubd
   —      Sonata, c, pf, ?1893
   5        [5] Fantasiestücke, str qt, 1895 (1922): Prelude, Serenade, Humoreske, Minuet, Dance
   9        2 Romantic Pieces, vn, pf, ?1895: Lament, Merrymaking
   10     Cl Qnt, f (Leipzig, 1895)
   13     Str Qt, d, 1896, unpubd
   16     [3] Hiawathan Sketches, vn, pf, 1896: A Tale, A Song, A Dance
   19     2 Moorish Tone-Pictures, pf (1897): Andalla, Zarifa
   19/1  2 Oriental Waltzes, pf (1905)
   20     Gipsy Suite, 4 pieces, vn, pf (1897): Lament and Tambourine, A Gipsy Song, A Gipsy Dance, Waltz
   23     Valse Caprice, vn, pf (1898)
   28     Vn Sonata, d, ?1898, ed. A. Sammons (1917)
   31    Humoresques, pf, 1897: D, g, A
   —    3 Short Pieces, org (1898): Melody, Elegy, Arietta
   35    African Suite, pf (1898): 1 Introduction, 2 A Negro Love Song, 3 A Valse, 4 Dance nègre [no.4 originally for pf, str qt]
   38    3 Silhouettes, pf, 1897: Valse, Tambourine, Lament
   41/2  Nourmahal's Song and Dance, pf (1900)
   55    Moorish Dance, pf (1904)
   56   [3] Cameos, pf (1904): F, d, G
   58   4 African Dances, vn, pf (1904): g, F, A, d
   59/2  Romance, vn, pf (1904)
   64   [4] Scènes de ballet, pf (1906): C, A, A, B
   66   [5] Forest Scenes, pf (1907): The lone forest maiden, The phantom lover arrives,
                    The phantom tells his tale of longing, Erstwhile they ride – the forest maiden
   —    Papillon, pf (1908)
   71   Three-fours, Valse Suite, pf (1909): a, A, g, D, E, c
   73   Ballade, c, vn, pf, Leeds, 29 Oct 1907
   —    Variations on an Original Theme, vc, Croydon, 30 Nov 1907, unpubd
   —    2 Impromptus, pf (1911): A, b
   78   3 Impromptus, org (1913): F, C, a
   —   Variations, b, vc, pf (1918)
   —   Interlude, org

I know the String Quartet was rescued somehow and issued on CD.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 04:44:13 AM by Scion7 »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Online VonStupp

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2021, 08:32:25 AM »
I was certain with orchestras making a big diversity push in programming, that we would see more of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. In my area though, none so far. A little bit of Florence Price, William Grant Still, Duke Ellington, and some others.

Aside from Hiawatha, I do like his Symphonic Varations on an African Air, op. 63, which wafts a bit of a Dvořák-ian aroma. It doesn't hit the same heights as Dvořák, but it is well worth knowing.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

The Song of Hiawatha, op. 30
Helen Field, Arthur Davies, Bryn Terfel
Welsh National Opera Chorus & Orchestra - Kenneth Alwyn

Symphonic Varations on an African Air, op. 63
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic - Grant Llewellyn





A bit of a dusty Victorian oratorio, Hiawatha is 3 Acts and nearly 2 hours of wall-to-wall, robust symphonic choral singing, following a small portion of Longfellow's epic poem. With orchestras scrambling to push diversity into their programming, I wonder if we will see any of this music appear again.

'Hiawatha's Wedding Feast' is the more popular section; all of his countless modulations are exciting, but the tenor solo sounds like an orchestrated parlour song to me. It is too bad no one records the other sections - 'Death of Minnehaha' and 'Hiawatha's Departure'. Coleridge-Taylor carries some pretty decent melodic themes throughout the runtime. The Act II tale is more tragic opposite the opening's celebrations, and the final Act is a decent feature for Helen Field and Bryn Terfel.

I was unfamiliar with Coleridge-Taylor's Symphonic Variations on an African Air, and this is where I can hear the similarities made with Dvořák. His small output of orchestral music seems assured for such a short life, not to mention what I assume was a tough station to hold in his life.

It's good that the one truly complete recording of this oratorio is such a good one from these Welsh ensembles. I don't know how much I will return to it, but I enjoyed my time listening.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 08:34:28 AM by VonStupp »
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2021, 11:28:16 AM »
I was certain with orchestras making a big diversity push in programming, that we would see more of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. In my area though, none so far. A little bit of Florence Price, William Grant Still, Duke Ellington, and some others.

Aside from Hiawatha, I do like his Symphonic Varations on an African Air, op. 63, which wafts a bit of a Dvořák-ian aroma. It doesn't hit the same heights as Dvořák, but it is well worth knowing.

At the risk of offending people my ears objectively tell me that Coleridge-Taylor is a competent not great composer.  But I'd say the same about Florence Price.  Duke Ellington is clearly a different case/calibre - who once said that Duke Ellington was America's greatest composer?  I do understand that there are elements of discrimination against these composers on account of race or gender and as such their struggle against that is to be celebrated.  But a hundred years later we are left with the Art itself not the context of its creation.  Is later Beethoven even better than it is because he was deaf or do we just accept it as great?  Do we sit there saying of the late string quartets; "they are even better than you think they are because the guy who wrote them couldn't hear a note".  I'd say not.   I understand this is a touchy and sensitive subject but that is not a reason to avoid a debate......

The cynical side of me says this music is now being programmed NOT because anyone thinks it is of especial merit but simply to be seen to be programming it and therefore promoting the idea that CM is inclusive and relevant.  I'm not saying for a second that the historical fact that people were marginalised on the basis of race or gender was a good thing but it is simply how it was.  We have to change things going forward , we cannot be hostages to history - instead we should learn from it.  Saying CM is the provenance of dead white men is a bit like saying organised religion - any religion - was the domain of influential educated men too.  It was - learn from that, change things and move forward.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2021, 11:34:59 AM »
At the risk of offending people my ears objectively tell me that Coleridge-Taylor is a competent not great composer.  But I'd say the same about Florence Price.  Duke Ellington is clearly a different case/calibre - who once said that Duke Ellington was America's greatest composer?  I do understand that there are elements of discrimination against these composers on account of race or gender and as such their struggle against that is to be celebrated.  But a hundred years later we are left with the Art itself not the context of its creation.  Is later Beethoven even better than it is because he was deaf or do we just accept it as great?  Do we sit there saying of the late string quartets; "they are even better than you think they are because the guy who wrote them couldn't hear a note".  I'd say not.   I understand this is a touchy and sensitive subject but that is not a reason to avoid a debate......

The cynical side of me says this music is now being programmed NOT because anyone thinks it is of especial merit but simply to be seen to be programming it and therefore promoting the idea that CM is inclusive and relevant.  I'm not saying for a second that the historical fact that people were marginalised on the basis of race or gender was a good thing but it is simply how it was.  We have to change things going forward , we cannot be hostages to history - instead we should learn from it.  Saying CM is the provenance of dead white men is a bit like saying organised religion - any religion - was the domain of influential educated men too.  It was - learn from that, change things and move forward.

Your ears aren’t deceiving you, I, too, find Coleridge-Taylor’s music to be well-crafted, but that’s about it. Whether he was black, white, purple, orange, green...is irrelevant to me.
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2021, 12:13:54 PM »
Your ears aren’t deceiving you, I, too, find Coleridge-Taylor’s music to be well-crafted, but that’s about it. Whether he was black, white, purple, orange, green...is irrelevant to me.

It would probably be music by aliens, and I would be eager to listen to it!  ;D
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2021, 12:20:37 PM »
It would probably be music by aliens, and I would be eager to listen to it!  ;D

Me, too! :D
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Online VonStupp

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2021, 01:18:56 PM »
At the risk of offending people my ears objectively tell me that Coleridge-Taylor is a competent not great composer.  But I'd say the same about Florence Price.  Duke Ellington is clearly a different case/calibre - who once said that Duke Ellington was America's greatest composer?  I do understand that there are elements of discrimination against these composers on account of race or gender and as such their struggle against that is to be celebrated.  But a hundred years later we are left with the Art itself not the context of its creation.  Is later Beethoven even better than it is because he was deaf or do we just accept it as great?  Do we sit there saying of the late string quartets; "they are even better than you think they are because the guy who wrote them couldn't hear a note".  I'd say not.   I understand this is a touchy and sensitive subject but that is not a reason to avoid a debate......

The cynical side of me says this music is now being programmed NOT because anyone thinks it is of especial merit but simply to be seen to be programming it and therefore promoting the idea that CM is inclusive and relevant.  I'm not saying for a second that the historical fact that people were marginalized on the basis of race or gender was a good thing but it is simply how it was.  We have to change things going forward , we cannot be hostages to history - instead we should learn from it.  Saying CM is the provenance of dead white men is a bit like saying organized religion - any religion - was the domain of influential educated men too.  It was - learn from that, change things and move forward.

Perhaps, but looking at this years' live programs, I get to hear more Beethoven symphonies for the umpteenth time (oddly no Bruckner or Mahler scheduled yet). I love Beethoven, Mahler, and Bruckner, and I know the orchestras need to get posteriors in seats right now, but a little variety speaks to me in volumes. If that means programming for diversity sake, I would be more eager to hear competent Coleridge-Taylor thrown in over yet another round of greatest hits. Maybe that is where recordings bridge the gap from attending live performances, and perhaps I am the only one thinking that when I attend live.  ;D
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2021, 12:01:19 AM »
Perhaps, but looking at this years' live programs, I get to hear more Beethoven symphonies for the umpteenth time (oddly no Bruckner or Mahler scheduled yet). I love Beethoven, Mahler, and Bruckner, and I know the orchestras need to get posteriors in seats right now, but a little variety speaks to me in volumes. If that means programming for diversity sake, I would be more eager to hear competent Coleridge-Taylor thrown in over yet another round of greatest hits. Maybe that is where recordings bridge the gap from attending live performances, and perhaps I am the only one thinking that when I attend live.  ;D

I'm ALL for diversity of programming - but as mentioned here before there are many very very fine composers NEVER played at the Proms - take just about ALL the Latin American composers for example.  I would feel on purely musical merit that type of composer deserves attention more than Coleridge-Taylor