Samuel Coleridge-Taylor  
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, (born Aug. 15, 1875, London, Eng.—died Sept. 1, 1912, Croydon, Surrey), English composer who enjoyed considerable acclaim in the early years of the 20th century.

Coleridge-Taylor’s father, thwarted in his attempts to progress as a physician—through apparent racial prejudice—deserted his son and English wife and returned to his native West Africa. At the age of five Samuel began playing the violin and joined the choir of a Presbyterian church in Croydon, where H.A. Walters guided his progress and arranged his admittance to the Royal College of Music in 1890.


While still a student he published some anthems, but his creative gifts were more apparent in various colourful instrumental works. In 1896 he became conductor of an amateur orchestra in Croydon and began teaching, guest-conducting, recital work, and judging at music festivals to support his wife and two children. He also continued to compose and was an early success at the Gloucester Festival with an orchestral Ballade in A Minor (1898), which was followed by his outstanding achievement, the Longfellow trilogy for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra of Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast (1898), The Death of Minnehaha (1899), and Hiawatha’s Departure (1900). In these and numerous other works, including incidental music, choral works, and a violin concerto (1911), influences from Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, and Grieg appear along with a spontaneity derived from appreciation of African American folk music, in which Coleridge-Taylor was a pioneer. He was well received in the United States, where he toured in 1904, 1906, and 1910.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha (In 4 Parts, Complete)
I. Hiawatha's Wedding Feast; II. The Death of Minnehaha; III. Overture to Hiawatha; IV. Hiawatha's Departure. The 2014 radio broadcast of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's four-part Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha (complete), as performed in March 2013 by The Longfellow Chorus, with Angela Brown, soprano, Rodrick Dixon, tenor, and Robert Honeysucker, baritone. Commentary by Longfellow Chorus artistic director Charles Kaufmann.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha's Wedding Feast
Concert: Nature's Bounty
Date: Saturday 23 March 2013, Knox Church, Dunedin, New Zealand

Conductor: David Burchell
City Choir Dunedin
Southern Sinfonia
Tenor: Matthew Wilson

"Hiawatha's Wedding Feast"
City Choir Dunedin celebrated its 150-year musical heritage (1863 - 2013) with the Victorian masterpiece "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast", one of the trilogy of cantatas that make up Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's "Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha". The text for this cantata, describing the splendours of an American-Indian wedding banquet, is from the well-known epic poem "The Song of Hiawatha" by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The work rivaled "Messiah" and "Elijah" in popularity amongst English-speaking choirs in the early decades of the 20th century. Its instant popularity is unsurprising − the music is bold, colourful and inventive within its late Victorian idiom; the text, though something of a hindrance to the composer due to its lumbering trochaic metre, was already widely known, and although the poem and its sentiment may now seem rather dated, the music retains its sparkle and vigour and is great fun to sing. The tenor aria 'Onaway! Awake beloved' is justifiably lauded as a highlight of the romantic tenor repertoire.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Hiawatha Overture
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Romance in G for violin and orchestra
Soloist: Lorraine McAslan
Nicholas Braithwaite conducts the London Philharmonic.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Ballade for orchestra Op.33
Commissioned in 1898 by the Three Choirs Festival of Britain thanks to pressure from Edward Elgar, the Ballade for orchestra Op.33 represents an important early milestone for the English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912). It's a work full of wonderful high-spirits, passion and warmth. Above all it's a harbinger of what might come, given time and opportunity. It is played here by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Grant Llewellyn.
Samuel Coleridge Taylor - The Death of Minnehaha
Elsie Suddaby, soprano
Howard Fry, bass-baritone
George Baker, bass-baritone
Royal Choral Society and Orchestra
Dr Malcolm Sargent - conductor

Recorded 17 December 1930 and 28 April 1931

The "Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha" received its first complete performance by the Royal Choral Society, conducted by Coleridge Taylor himself, in 1900.

In 1924 the choir presented the first of a series of fully staged versions of the trilogy, "Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast", "The Death of Minnehaha" and "Hiawatha’s Departure", performed by more than 1,000 ‘braves’ and ‘squaws’ in extended seasons each June until 1939.

Audiences travelled in costume from the London suburbs and further afield, fired with an almost fanatical enthusiasm for Coleridge Taylor’s sentimental melodies and the spectacular Albert Hall productions, which included a vast painted backdrop, waterfalls, wigwams, peace-pipes and various other essential ethnic trappings.

This recording is very nearly complete. Much of the orchestral introduction is omitted to fit the first section on to one side of a record. Several linking passages were also omitted at the end of sides..

The Royal Choral Society's staged performance ran for two weeks, starting 9th June. It featured a "cast" of fourteen soloists who alternated performances. They included Elsie Suddaby and Howard Fry, but not HMV stalwart George Baker. This recording, and its companion "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast" appear to have been in the nature of rehearsals.

Original transfers by CHARM, King's College London

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - African Suite: Danse nègre
African Suite, Op. 35 (1898)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Petite Suite de Concert
Reynard Burns appears here as guest conductor of the Island Symphony Orchestra, in a performance of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Petite Suite de Concert. Coleridge-Taylor was an English composer of African descent who lived from 1875-1912.
The Island Symphony is based in Suffolk County NY and is directed by Dr. Howard Cinnamon.
Coleridge Taylor Samuel, Violin Concerto 2nd movement
Date: 24/02/13
Place: Mexico D.F. Palacio de Bellas Artes
Orchestra: Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional (OSN)
Violin Solo: Mykyta Klochkov
Conductor: Hansjorg Schellenberger
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