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Coleridge-Taylor at the Proms


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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« on: August 24, 2021, 08:17:22 am »

Don't forget to tune in to the Chineke! Orchestra Prom tonight:

Coleridge-Taylor - Overture to The Song of Hiawatha, Op.30 No.3
Fela Sowande - African Suite
Florence Price - Piano Concerto
Coleridge-Taylor - Symphony in A minor


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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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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2021, 08:26:53 am »

Don't forget to tune in to the Chineke! Orchestra Prom tonight:

Coleridge-Taylor - Overture to The Song of Hiawatha, Op.30 No.3
Fela Sowande - African Suite
Florence Price - Piano Concerto
Coleridge-Taylor - Symphony in A minor


 Smiley

Thank you for the reminder! You know how my memory is these days.

I'm glad to see that in your post you correct the error made in both the Proms booklet and the Radio Times, where it's described as Overture: Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. These people are musically illiterate.
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Albion
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2021, 08:37:04 am »

Don't forget to tune in to the Chineke! Orchestra Prom tonight:

Coleridge-Taylor - Overture to The Song of Hiawatha, Op.30 No.3
Fela Sowande - African Suite
Florence Price - Piano Concerto
Coleridge-Taylor - Symphony in A minor


 Smiley

Thank you for the reminder! You know how my memory is these days.

I'm glad to see that in your post you correct the error made in both the Proms booklet and the Radio Times, where it's described as Overture: Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. These people are musically illiterate.

The ignorance of the laity.



Yep, it's the overture to the entire trilogy, largely based, perhaps oddly, on the spiritual Nobody Knows the Trouble I See, Lord. Nobody knows how little trouble the BBC takes to get simple things like titles right.

 Roll Eyes
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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 #3 on: August 24, 2021, 08:45:17 am »

Don't forget to tune in to the Chineke! Orchestra Prom tonight:

Coleridge-Taylor - Overture to The Song of Hiawatha, Op.30 No.3
Fela Sowande - African Suite
Florence Price - Piano Concerto
Coleridge-Taylor - Symphony in A minor


 Smiley

Thank you for the reminder! You know how my memory is these days.

I'm glad to see that in your post you correct the error made in both the Proms booklet and the Radio Times, where it's described as Overture: Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. These people are musically illiterate.

The ignorance of the laity.



Yep, it's the overture to the entire trilogy, largely based, perhaps oddly, on the spiritual Nobody Knows the Trouble I See, Lord. Nobody knows how little trouble the BBC takes to get simple things like titles right.

 Roll Eyes

Quite so. However, I have every confidence that the guys and gals of Chineke! will do the piece (and the rest of the programme) proud (and accurately!)
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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2021, 08:57:05 am »

Oh Dog, it's presented by Petroc! Expect an unctuous smarm-fest.



 Tongue

The recording that may happen to accidentally appear in BIMA would of course obliterate such drivel.

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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 #5 on: August 24, 2021, 09:42:32 am »

Oh Dog, it's presented by Petroc! Expect an unctuous smarm-fest.



 Tongue

The recording that may happen to accidentally appear in BIMA would of course obliterate such drivel.


Smiley Wink
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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2021, 11:06:04 am »

Oh Dog, it's presented by Petroc! Expect an unctuous smarm-fest.



 Tongue

The recording that may happen to accidentally appear in BIMA would of course obliterate such drivel.


Smiley Wink

Have no fear, the recordings are certified 100% Petroc-free (with one year manufacturer's warranty included). Why spoil lovely performances with pointless inanity?

 Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2021, 11:21:09 am »

Oh Dog, it's presented by Petroc! Expect an unctuous smarm-fest.



 Tongue

The recording that may happen to accidentally appear in BIMA would of course obliterate such drivel.


Smiley Wink

Have no fear, the recordings are certified 100% Petroc-free (with one year manufacturer's warranty included).

 Cheesy

Excellent, thank you. Not only is he unctuous, he's also ill-informed. Why did he keep referring to "Coleridge-Taylor's Symphony no 1" as if Coleridge had gone on to compose further symphonies? I was hoping that studio guest Catherine Carr, who undertook her Ph.D. in the music of Coleridge-Taylor, would leap in and tell him that there isn't another one! Having met her, I can confirm that she's too polite and well-mannered, sadly! Grin Also, in referring to the Hiawatha jamborees that ran in the RAH under Sargent until 1939, he said that Coleridge did not make any money out of them because he had sold the rights to Novello for fifteen guineas. Wrong on two counts: he sold the rights only of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast for fifteen guineas, not the whole triology. Oh, and he'd been dead since 1912, which would also preclude him from cashing-in.
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2021, 11:39:17 am »

Excellent, thank you. Not only is he unctuous, he's also il-informed. Why did he keep referring to "Coleridge-Taylor's Symphony no 1" as if Coleridge had gone on to compose further symphonies? I was hoping that studio guest Catherine Carr, who undertook her Ph.D. in the music of Coleridge-Taylor, would leap in and tell him that there isn't another one! Having met her, I can confirm that she's too polite and well-mannered, sadly! Grin Also, in referring to the Hiawatha jamborees that ran in the RAH under Sargent until 1939, he said that Coleridge did not make any money out of them because he had sold the rights to Novello for fifteen guineas. Wrong on two counts: he sold the rights only of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast for fifteen guineas, not the whole trilogy. Oh, and he'd been dead since 1912, which would also preclude him from cashing-in.

Yep, never let facts get in the way of inconsequential blather.

 Wink

There was a back-lash in the press against Novello following his early death (both Parry and Stanford weighed in). Sam wouldn't have had to teach and conduct as much as he did if he had royalties from Hiawatha's Wedding Feast - apart from The Death of Minnehaha he never reaped much financial reward from his compositional labours.

 Sad
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2021, 12:05:28 pm »

Excellent, thank you. Not only is he unctuous, he's also il-informed. Why did he keep referring to "Coleridge-Taylor's Symphony no 1" as if Coleridge had gone on to compose further symphonies? I was hoping that studio guest Catherine Carr, who undertook her Ph.D. in the music of Coleridge-Taylor, would leap in and tell him that there isn't another one! Having met her, I can confirm that she's too polite and well-mannered, sadly! Grin Also, in referring to the Hiawatha jamborees that ran in the RAH under Sargent until 1939, he said that Coleridge did not make any money out of them because he had sold the rights to Novello for fifteen guineas. Wrong on two counts: he sold the rights only of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast for fifteen guineas, not the whole trilogy. Oh, and he'd been dead since 1912, which would also preclude him from cashing-in.

Yep, never let facts get in the way of inconsequential blather.

 Wink

There was a back-lash in the press against Novello following his early death (both Parry and Stanford weighed in). Sam wouldn't have had to teach and conduct as much as he did if he had royalties from Hiawatha's Wedding Feast - apart from The Death of Minnehaha he never reaped much financial reward from his compositional labours.

 Sad

Very true, and the fuss was a significant factor in the establishment of the Performing Rights Society (PRS) in 1914.
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2021, 04:27:25 pm »

I've just been looking at some of the reviews of thiss concert that have been posted on line. The fairest, to my mind are those which appear in the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/aug/25/chinekebovell-review-young-orchestra-continue-to-make-strong-case-for-neglected-repertoire
and inews.co.uk
https://inews.co.uk/culture/chineke-bbc-proms-review-pianist-jeneba-kanneh-mason-kalena-bovell-1167984

However, the usual critical faux pas are in evidence: Andrew Clements in the Guardian review states that the Hiawatha Overture "is mostly built around themes from the first of the cantatas". It isn't: while there is one quotation from Hiawatha's Wedding Feast in the coda, it's mostly built around an old version of the African-American spiritual Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen. Mind you, Mr Clements is undoubtedly correct when he says that "Coleridge-Taylor... did well to avoid the pervasive influence of Brahms; there’s much more of Dvořák in the cut of the symphony’s themes and the buoyancy of its textures." David Nice for the artsdesk.com makes a similar mistake to Mr Clements about the thematic origins of the Hiawatha Overture but, while he really seems to like and admire Coleridge-Taylor's Symphony he disagrees with Mr Clements about the influences on it, writing, "Its ideas rhythmically supple and far from predictable despite being rooted in a tradition then heavily influenced by Brahms... The beauty of it is that Coleridge-Taylor turns Brahmsian touches such as clarinets in thirds into things of light and humour... and filters the German master's wistfulness through his own exquisire sensibility in the predominant tone of the anything but stodgy and lamentatory not-so-slow second movement (Larghetto affettuoso) The finale’s calm lifting of the A minor veil and the beautiful ending intimate hard-won peace of mind". Since by far the stronger influence on Coleridge-Taylor was Dvořák, all this stuff about how different he is from Brahms is pretty moot!

The most inexplicable comment comes from Colin Clarke, reviewing for seenandheard-international: while his review was generally positive, he writes of the Symphony, "Interestingly, the recording by Douglas Bostock and the Aarhus Symphony on Classico used the score held at the RCM; it would certainly make sense if the present performers had done the same, considering the venue." Er, they did, which I can confirm since, as the perfomance progressed, I had "before my very eyes" the score which the late Patrick Meadows and I prepared in 2005 from that very manuscript! For the sake of completeness, I ought to mention that the two earlier versions of the finale have since (2013) been published in the edition of the Symphony by A-R Editions editied by John L. Snyder.

Critics, huh? Huh
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2021, 09:17:37 am »

I've just been looking at some of the reviews of thiss concert that have been posted on line. The fairest, to my mind are those which appear in the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/aug/25/chinekebovell-review-young-orchestra-continue-to-make-strong-case-for-neglected-repertoire
and inews.co.uk
https://inews.co.uk/culture/chineke-bbc-proms-review-pianist-jeneba-kanneh-mason-kalena-bovell-1167984

However, the usual critical faux pas are in evidence: Andrew Clements in the Guardian review states that the Hiawatha Overture "is mostly built around themes from the first of the cantatas". It isn't: while there is one quotation from Hiawatha's Wedding Feast in the coda, it's mostly built around an old version of the African-American spiritual Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen. Mind you, Mr Clements is undoubtedly correct when he says that "Coleridge-Taylor... did well to avoid the pervasive influence of Brahms; there’s much more of Dvořák in the cut of the symphony’s themes and the buoyancy of its textures." David Nice for the artsdesk.com makes a similar mistake to Mr Clements about the thematic origins of the Hiawatha Overture but, while he really seems to like and admire Coleridge-Taylor's Symphony he disagrees with Mr Clements about the influences on it, writing, "Its ideas rhythmically supple and far from predictable despite being rooted in a tradition then heavily influenced by Brahms... The beauty of it is that Coleridge-Taylor turns Brahmsian touches such as clarinets in thirds into things of light and humour... and filters the German master's wistfulness through his own exquisire sensibility in the predominant tone of the anything but stodgy and lamentatory not-so-slow second movement (Larghetto affettuoso) The finale’s calm lifting of the A minor veil and the beautiful ending intimate hard-won peace of mind". Since by far the stronger influence on Coleridge-Taylor was Dvořák, all this stuff about how different he is from Brahms is pretty moot!

The most inexplicable comment comes from Colin Clarke, reviewing for seenandheard-international: while his review was generally positive, he writes of the Symphony, "Interestingly, the recording by Douglas Bostock and the Aarhus Symphony on Classico used the score held at the RCM; it would certainly make sense if the present performers had done the same, considering the venue." Er, they did, which I can confirm since, as the perfomance progressed, I had "before my very eyes" the score which the late Patrick Meadows and I prepared in 2005 from that very manuscript! For the sake of completeness, I ought to mention that the two earlier versions of the finale have since (2013) been published in the edition of the Symphony by A-R Editions editied by John L. Snyder.

Critics, huh? Huh

Dvorak yes, Brahms definitely not. Nope, more windy guff from said "critics" - they should have the score inserted sideways into the most convenient orifice...



...that'll do nicely.

 Wink
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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 #12 on: August 28, 2021, 09:27:54 am »


Dvorak yes, Brahms definitely not. Nope, more windy guff from said "critics" - they should have the score inserted sideways into the most convenient orifice...



...that'll do nicely.

 Wink

Ouch! (especially as it has a comb-binding).
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Albion
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2021, 10:03:35 am »


Dvorak yes, Brahms definitely not. Nope, more windy guff from said "critics" - they should have the score inserted sideways into the most convenient orifice...



...that'll do nicely.

 Wink

Ouch! (especially as it has a comb-binding).

I'd pop a couple of spikes on it as well, just for the fun of it...

 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 #14 on: August 28, 2021, 10:07:40 am »


I'd pop a couple of spikes on it as well, just for the fun of it...

 Smiley

You've been reading those magazines again, haven't you?
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