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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)


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Author Topic: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)  (Read 1570 times)
Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2021, 12:35:48 pm »


Bless you, Lionel, for all this hard work over the years. I've contacted the Longfellow Chorus in the USA to see if they would be interested in commissioning a re-orchestration of all of the Five Choral Ballads along the lines of that which has been done for The Quadroon Girl...

 Smiley

It was a labour of love for both of us. Over the years we completed 35 such projects, 11 of them SC-T's (including the mammoth enterprise of producing a full score, vocal score, libretto and band parts of Themla).
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2021, 12:41:25 pm »

It was a labour of love for both of us. Over the years we completed 35 such projects, 11 of them SC-T's (including the mammoth enterprise of producing a full score, vocal score, libretto and band parts of Thelma).

I would dearly love to hear Thelma. Catherine Carr's thesis is excellent in explaining the background and how she "found" the score. Thank the stars for such diligent research!

 Smiley

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2021, 03:30:37 pm »

It was a labour of love for both of us. Over the years we completed 35 such projects, 11 of them SC-T's (including the mammoth enterprise of producing a full score, vocal score, libretto and band parts of Thelma).

I would dearly love to hear Thelma. Catherine Carr's thesis is excellent in explaining the background and how she "found" the score. Thank the stars for such diligent research!

 Smiley


I couldn't agree more about Catherine Carr's research.  (I have had the pleasure of meeting Catherine, and a very nice person she is.)

Of course, I have only heard Thelma in my mind's ear, as it were, but having been immersed in it twelve hours a day for months on end, I think I have a pretty accurate aural image of it and I have to say that I think it's as fine a piece as SC-T ever wrote. Technically, it's very assured, of course; nowhere does it sag in interest and there are some truly glorious passages that achieve the same levels of inspiration as Hiawatha, the Symphonic Variations and the Tale of Old Japan. The plot is ridiclous, of course, but no more so than that of many an opera in the standard repertoire!
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Albion
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2021, 03:49:47 pm »

I have only heard Thelma in my mind's ear, as it were, but having been immersed in it twelve hours a day for months on end, I think I have a pretty accurate aural image of it and I have to say that I think it's as fine a piece as SC-T ever wrote. Technically, it's very assured, of course; nowhere does it sag in interest and there are some truly glorious passages that achieve the same levels of inspiration as Hiawatha, the Symphonic Variations and the Tale of Old Japan. The plot is ridiculous, of course, but no more so than that of many an opera in the standard repertoire!

Lionel, that counts as a ringing endorsement of Thelma, which is no less than I would expect!

 Wink

I've never much bothered about opera plots, it's the music that I care about. The Symphonic Variations on an African Air, Op.63 should be standard repertoire...

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2021, 05:52:20 pm »

The Symphonic Variations on an African Air, Op.63 should be standard repertoire...

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I quite agree (surprise surprise). Apart from the noble beauty of the theme, the brilliance of SC-T's orchestration and the kaleidoscopic nature of the transformations through which he puts that theme, it's the subtlety of the structure of the piece that sets it apart. I think he called it 'Symphonic' for the reason that it's not just a set of numbered variations: in fact, it's quite difficult to say how many variations there are -- different analyses come up with different figures -- but rather, he elides variation procedures with internal ternary forms and the result comes out as something approaching an overall sonata-form structure. I know of no other work like it and while I enjoy the Enigma Variations as much as the next person, I do so wish that just occasionally, an enterprising conductor would substitute the Symphonic Variations for that ubiqitous Elgar piece. I recall being in Birmingham in (I think) 2005 and seeing a poster for a CBSO concert indicating that Sakari Oromo programmed the Symphonic Variations one evening. Sadly, I was due back in London before the gig and I don't know if he's ever conducted it since. I suppose we must at least be grateful for Grant Llewellyn's recording with Royal Liverpool Phil. which is, I think, a fine interpretation with good sonics. I'm sure (well, I'm hopeful anyway) that Chineke! wiill programme it one day. 
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2021, 05:54:32 pm »

I quite like that sort of painting. I'm no expert,though!! Roll Eyes
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2021, 06:18:53 pm »

I quite like that sort of painting. I'm no expert,though!! Roll Eyes

"Victorian" or "titillating"? No matter, there's plenty more to come! Just something to look at whilst listening...

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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2021, 06:29:41 pm »

I recall being in Birmingham in (I think) 2005 and seeing a poster for a CBSO concert indicating that Sakari Oromo programmed the Symphonic Variations one evening. Sadly, I was due back in London before the gig and I don't know if he's ever conducted it since.

"Of even greater interest was the balancing of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Symphonic Variations on an African Air Op. 63, which opened the evening, with Schumann's Spring Symphony which closed it. While Coleridge-Taylor's choice of variation form was influenced by Parry, Elgar and Delius, the choice of theme reflected his own black heritage - he was the son of a Sierra Leone doctor and an English mother. Yet it was his undisguised admiration of Dvorak that emerged most strongly in Sakari Oramo's performance, richly lyrical and thoroughly convincing."

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2005/mar/19/classicalmusicandopera2

Influenced by Delius, eh? Hmmmmm...

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Nevertheless a positive review.

 Grin
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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
cilgwyn
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2021, 06:52:18 pm »

I quite like that sort of painting. I'm no expert,though!! Roll Eyes

"Victorian" or "titillating"? No matter, there's plenty more to come! Just something to look at whilst listening...

 Grin
Oops! Wrong thread! Embarrassed Apologies! Roll Eyes This is what comes of posting at tea time!
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2021, 07:16:48 pm »

I recall being in Birmingham in (I think) 2005 and seeing a poster for a CBSO concert indicating that Sakari Oromo programmed the Symphonic Variations one evening. Sadly, I was due back in London before the gig and I don't know if he's ever conducted it since.

"Of even greater interest was the balancing of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Symphonic Variations on an African Air Op. 63, which opened the evening, with Schumann's Spring Symphony which closed it. While Coleridge-Taylor's choice of variation form was influenced by Parry, Elgar and Delius, the choice of theme reflected his own black heritage - he was the son of a Sierra Leone doctor and an English mother. Yet it was his undisguised admiration of Dvorak that emerged most strongly in Sakari Oramo's performance, richly lyrical and thoroughly convincing."

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2005/mar/19/classicalmusicandopera2

Influenced by Delius, eh? Hmmmmm...

 Wink

Nevertheless a positive review.

 Grin
Yes, encouragingly positive. Thanks very much for digging that out. Like you, I'm not sure why the reviewer dragged Delius into it. I have to admit that Delius is one of my blind spots. Undoubtedly there are passages of great beauty in many of his works but his structures often seem so ramshackle and jerry-built as to be almost unintelligble to me. The seeming lack of logic diminishes the beauties because they don't form part of a greater whole but just float about without any real purpose -- neither repose nor climax (fish, fowl nor good red herring!) Still, who am I to disgree with Beecham?

Interesting point the reviewer makes about putting the 2nd fiddles on the right and the cellos on the left. Once upon a time this was standard, so people could hear clearly the counterpoints between first and second fiddles, which are so much a feature of classical and romantic orchestral practice. In fact, Sir Adrian Boult (for one) always insisted on that layout.
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2021, 08:04:44 pm »

Oops! Wrong thread! Embarrassed Apologies! Roll Eyes This is what comes of posting at tea time!

I love it! Just post anything anywhere you fancy - I'll find 'em...

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2021, 08:10:18 pm »

I have to admit that Delius is one of my blind spots.

I love the Florida Suite, Koanga, Brigg Fair, Paris and On the Mountains. I've never got on with the Mass of Life, not helped by enduring a bum-clenchingly dire Three Choirs Festival rendition about 20 years ago...



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« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2021, 08:56:54 pm »

A Mass of Life? Indeed! I've got nowhere with that one! North Country Sketches and Eventyr are favourites. I usually enjoy the recordings Beecham made. Not so keen on some of the choral works. I like A Village Romeo and Juliet,though. Although,I can't say I listen to it allot!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2021, 09:30:42 pm »

Back to Samuel Taylor Coleridge! Grin Smiley (I sound like a certain other forum,saying that! Grin)
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2021, 10:19:02 pm »

Back to Samuel Taylor Coleridge! Grin Smiley (I sound like a certain other forum,saying that! Grin)
Aaaaaarrrrggggggghhh! [exits screaming]
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