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Coleridge-Taylor: Chamber Music

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, February 9, 1999
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Fantasiestücke for String Quartet, Op.5: Prelude
  2. Fantasiestücke for String Quartet, Op.5: Serenade
  3. Fantasiestücke for String Quartet, Op.5: humoresque
  4. Fantasiestücke for String Quartet, Op.5: Minuet And Trio
  5. Fantasiestücke for String Quartet, Op.5: Dance
  6. Five Negro Melodies for piano trio (from Op. 59/1): Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
  7. Five Negro Melodies for piano trio (from Op. 59/1): I Was Way Down A-Yonder
  8. Five Negro Melodies for piano trio (from Op. 59/1): Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel
  9. Five Negro Melodies for piano trio (from Op. 59/1): They Will Not Lend Me A Child
  10. Five Negro Melodies for piano trio (from Op. 59/1): My Lord Delivered Daniel
  11. Nonet in F minor, Op.2: Allegro Moderato
  12. Nonet in F minor, Op.2: Andante Con Moto
  13. Nonet in F minor, Op.2: Cherzo, Allegro
  14. Nonet in F minor, Op.2: Finale, Allegro Vivace

Product Details

  • Performer: Coleridge Ensemble
  • Composer: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
  • Audio CD (February 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Afka
  • ASIN: B00000HXM6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,144 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

This recording contains some of Coleridge-Taylor's earliest compositions, and they happen to be among his very best. For those who remain unconvinced of his genius after the early bloom of Hiawatha, these works show the direction he may have taken had he not been so keenly an Englishman of his time and thrown so much creative energy into the composition of the dramatic oratorios that were insanely popular in the UK during that era. (Every English composer of C-T's generation fell prey to this.)

The chamber idiom seemed to fit C-T extremely well. Here we have concentrated expression and clean forms, shorn of phony Africanisms or Indianisms. They are all delightfully conceived and often seriously poetic. The Piano Trio movements are his chamber settings of 5 excerpts from his earlier piano work 24 Negro melodies, Spirituals by another name. These really speak deeply, and I'm sure if other groups knew of them they would be played all the time. The earliest work is the Nonet, and it is terrific. The influence of his teacher Stanford can be clearly heard, as can that of Dvorak, yet the piece still speaks with a new voice. It never disappoints from the first measure. The string quartet is a collection of character pieces, and none the worse for it. They are of uniformly high conception.

The Coleridge Ensemble plays pretty well, though I think they could be heard to better advantage with a clearer sound setting. The recording has the sound of a large, resonant but empty room. Don't let that deter you though. This music is a special experience.

C-T had a number of compositional highpoints beyond Hiawatha. We'll have to hear more of his work like Meg Blane, A Tale of Japan or The Atonement to ascertain his voice completely. Maybe we'll even find the String Quartet in D Minor, which it is said he may have destroyed. After hearing this recording, I really, really hope not.
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