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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)


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Author Topic: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)  (Read 1570 times)
Albion
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2021, 10:30:37 pm »

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

Aaaaaarrrrggggggghhh! [exits screaming]



 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 #31 on: February 05, 2021, 11:25:03 pm »

Tee-hee!
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« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2021, 05:18:08 pm »

Back to Samuel Taylor Coleridge! Grin Smiley (I sound like a certain other forum,saying that! Grin)
Platoon roll call! Ay-uuuup! (In Sgt Bilko's voice) Grin
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patmos.beje
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« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2021, 07:29:59 pm »

I discovered Coleridge-Taylor’s Hiawatha in 1998, fresh from discovering Dyson’s The Canterbury Pilgrims.  Both these pieces were two of the highlights of musical discoveries in 1998, a year that was particularly good for CD releases (albeit both pieces were from previous years).  Part 1 of Hiawatha is delightful from start to finish.

I longed to hear his Violin Concerto and for many years I often looked on the internet in the hope of finding a CD release date.  The release eventually came in 2004. It proved to be a big disappointment to me, perhaps my expectations were too high.  I suppose I was hoping for the memorable lyricism of Part 1 of Hiawatha and, for me, the Violin Concerto did not match this.  The later Lyrita CD release of all his works for Violin and Orchestra is a better recording.
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2021, 08:00:16 pm »

I longed to hear his Violin Concerto and for many years I often looked on the internet in the hope of finding a CD release date.  The release eventually came in 2004. It proved to be a big disappointment to me, perhaps my expectations were too high.  I suppose I was hoping for the memorable lyricism of Part 1 of Hiawatha and, for me, the Violin Concerto did not match this.  The later Lyrita CD release of all his works for Violin and Orchestra is a better recording.
I quite agree that Lorraine Mc Aslan and the LPO under Nicholas Braithwaite give a better performance (in a better recording) than Philippe Graffin with Johannesburg PO under Michael Hankinson (which I'm guessing is the one you first found). The Lyrita has more sweep and power althogether. Incidentally, it was recorded before the Graffin version but it was at that time when Lyrita underwent a hiatus in issuing stuff and it didn't hit the streets until much later.

I think part of the problem you may have experienced is the expectation that the title 'Violin Concerto' conjures up; even the work's dedicatee, Maud Powell, said that it was a pity there wasn't a better description for it. It's too big to be a 'concertino' but neither is it a 'suite'. No, it's definitely a concerto but in 1912 that word seemed to imply something like Elgar's magisterial utterance but, of course, Coleridge-Taylor was trying to do something rather different. The initial plan was to build it around spirituals but, like Topsy, it growed. 
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« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2021, 08:13:19 pm »

I think part of the problem you may have experienced is the expectation that the title 'Violin Concerto' conjures up; even the work's dedicatee, Maud Powell, said that it was a pity there wasn't a better description for it. It's too big to be a 'concertino' but neither is it a 'suite'.

A parallel is, perhaps, Sullivan's splendid and pioneering "Cello Concerto" (1866) which was frequently referred to as a "Concertino" during his lifetime...

 Smiley

Thank the stars for Charles Mackerras's phenomenal memory in collaborating on the reconstruction (in 1986) of Sullivan's score based on his 1953 performance (before the score was burnt in the 1964 catastrophic Chappell & Co. warehouse fire)...

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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 #36 on: February 10, 2021, 10:00:33 pm »

I think part of the problem you may have experienced is the expectation that the title 'Violin Concerto' conjures up; even the work's dedicatee, Maud Powell, said that it was a pity there wasn't a better description for it. It's too big to be a 'concertino' but neither is it a 'suite'.

A parallel is, perhaps, Sullivan's splendid and pioneering "Cello Concerto" (1866) which was frequently referred to as a "Concertino" during his lifetime...

 Smiley

Thank the stars for Charles Mackerras's phenomenal memory in collaborating on the reconstruction (in 1986) of Sullivan's score based on his 1953 performance (before the score was burnt in the 1964 catastrophic Chappell & Co. warehouse fire)...

 Roll Eyes

That's quite uncanny, John. I was thinking about Mackerras and Sullivan's concerto only this morning. Its proportions are quite peculiar in that the first movement is only about three-and-a-half minutes long whereas the second and third are both twice that. It is, indeed, much more like a 'Concertino' or what our German friends would call a 'Konzertstück' (the title that Schumann originally gave to his cello concerto, oddly enough). The first movement is in the nature of an introduction to the rest of the piece, rather than a movement in its own right. The same does not apply to Coleridge-Taylor's concerto, however, the movements of which are 'regular size' (in the McAslan recording, 12'15"; 8'34"; and 12'03" respectively) and so it's not really a question of size but more one of character.

I suppose I was hoping for the memorable lyricism of Part 1 of Hiawatha and, for me, the Violin Concerto did not match this.

I am somewhat surprised by your finding a lack of lyricism in the piece, though. The slow movement seems to me nothing if not lyrical but hey, as my old mother used to say, "It wouldn't do if we were all the same!" Let's be honest, though; Hiawatha's Wedding Feast was a bl**dy hard act to follow!

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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2021, 12:07:51 am »

Thanks for the observations about the Violin Concerto.  Yes, it was the recording by Philippe Graffin I first heard and, yes, I was aware the Lyrita version was recorded earlier.

In the early 2000s I had a list of about 20 works I longed to hear, ranging from Concertos to Operas and choral pieces etc.  Most of these I have now heard and the majority lived up to my expectations.  Two that did not were McEwen’s Viola Concerto and Coleridge Taylor’s Violin Concerto.  The former is easy to explain.  McEwen’s impressionism and Scottish influences were what appealed to me about his music.  His Viola Concerto lacks both.  Whilst subsequent listenings created a more favourable impression, at the time of writing I don’t recall a note of it.

In relation to the Coleridge Taylor Violin Concerto, I had no expectations in terms of structure or the ambition of the Concerto. Basically the music did not appeal to me to the extent I had anticipated.

Unlike the McEwen Concerto, I can recall parts of the Coleridge Taylor Violin Concerto and can see its merits, something confirmed by at least 4 recordings. I am not denying that the work is lyrical and is a fine piece but in a genre where there is great competition there are many others I prefer.  Coleridge Taylor for me will always be associated with Hiawatha in particular Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast which, indeed, was a hard act to follow.  Wink Smiley Grin
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2021, 09:31:04 am »


In the early 2000s I had a list of about 20 works I longed to hear, ranging from Concertos to Operas and choral pieces etc.  Most of these I have now heard and the majority lived up to my expectations.  Two that did not were McEwen’s Viola Concerto and Coleridge Taylor’s Violin Concerto.  The former is easy to explain.  McEwen’s impressionism and Scottish influences were what appealed to me about his music.  His Viola Concerto lacks both.  Whilst subsequent listenings created a more favourable impression, at the time of writing I don’t recall a note of it.

I had exactly the same reaction as you to McEwen's Viola Concerto. If a player as gifted as Lawrence Power can't "bring it off the page", especialy with Martyn Brabbins on the rostrum, nobody could.  The saving grace of that CD was the lovely performance of Camp Flossie they put on as a filler.  Wink
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2021, 05:20:56 pm »

Who'd've thought it? Certainly I wouldn't 'back in the day'. Onward and upward (but not to Narnia) one hopes.

https://www.classicfm.com/composers/coleridge-taylor-s/long-forgotten-english-composer-comeback-hall-of-fame/
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« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2021, 04:57:24 pm »

With regard to the Solemn Prelude (1899), projected for revival at the 2021 Three Choirs Festival, the piano transcription at IMSLP looks very promising (see Lionel Harrison's post in the 2021 Three Choirs Festival thread) -

https://imslp.org/wiki/Solemn_Prelude%2C_Op.40_(Coleridge-Taylor%2C_Samuel)

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« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2021, 07:21:45 pm »

Regarding Coleridge-Taylor's Zara's Ear-Rings for soprano and orchestra, Op.7 (1895) the title has always intrigued me. Nowadays I suppose it would be Tracey's Tattoo...

 Roll Eyes

Meanwhile, if you have access to JSTOR (all you need is a valid email address to access 100 articles per month) I would recommend this:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3181605?read-now=1&refreqid=excelsior%3A7a0bd7de6b7b9c7045a15761ebbae9c2&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 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)
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« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2021, 07:46:27 pm »

Regarding Coleridge-Taylor's Zara's Ear-Rings for soprano and orchestra, Op.7 (1895) the title has always intrigued me. Nowadays I suppose it would be Tracey's Tattoo...

 Roll Eyes

Meanwhile, if you have access to JSTOR (all you need is a valid email address to access 100 articles per month) I would recommend this:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3181605?read-now=1&refreqid=excelsior%3A7a0bd7de6b7b9c7045a15761ebbae9c2&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 Smiley
Tracey's Tattoo? What a distressing thought!

Thanks for the tip. I have registered at JSTOR (dunno why I didn't do it before). I have Geoffrey Self's biography of SC-T The Hiawatha Man but I expect this article will contain other details and so I shall read it with extreme interest!
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Albion
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« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2021, 09:11:37 pm »

Tracey's Tattoo? What a distressing thought!

Say hello to our latest member, Tracey...



 Shocked

Is that a quotation from Coleridge-Taylor? Looks more like a snippet from the closing section of Tchaikovsky's Marche slave to me...

 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)
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« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2021, 08:41:34 am »

Tracey's Tattoo? What a distressing thought!

Say hello to our latest member, Tracey...



 Shocked

Is that a quotation from Coleridge-Taylor? Looks more like a snippet from the closing section of Tchaikovsky's Marche slave to me...

 Grin

No, it's the Méditation from Massenet's ThighsCheesy Roll Eyes
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