Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Composer, conductor. Born 15 August 1875. Died 1 September 1912
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
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1875-08-15
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/4ade7e9d-cb1d-4d35-b711-dd970a7c4341
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Biography (BBC)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born in London on 15 August 1875. His father, whom he never knew, was a doctor and a native of Sierra Leone; his mother was an Englishwoman. He entered the Royal College of Music in 1890 as a violinist, but showing great potential in composition, began lessons with Stanford (who was greatly protective of him) in 1892.

His career at the RCM was prodigious and productive. He wrote a number of substantial chamber works including the Nonet (1894) and Clarinet Quintet (1895), the latter of which showed his indebtedness to, and admiration for, the music of Dvo?ák, though it is clear he had also learnt much from Stanford about Brahmsian organic processes. At much the same time he was developing a love for the harmonic and melodic inventiveness of Grieg and Puccini.

After leaving the RCM in 1898 he rapidly came to national prominence with his orchestral Ballade in A minor, commissioned by the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival on Elgar’s recommendation, and his cantata Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast (1898), the first of a trilogy which soon included The Death of Minnehaha (1899) and Hiawatha’s Departure (1900). Hiawatha was widely performed and became an iconic work for the all-black Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society of Washington, DC, who invited the composer to America to conduct them in 1904, 1906 and 1910. Other choral works, however, were less successful, and his largest, The Atonement (1903), was an abject failure. More cogent musical thought can be found in the choral rhapsody Kubla Khan (1905) and his setting of Alfred Noyes’s oriental poem A Tale of Old Japan (1911).

An interest in theatre led to the composition of incidental scores for four plays by Stephen Phillips – Herod (1900), Ulysses (1902), Nero (1906) and Faust (1908) – and for Othello (1911), as well as the attractive ballet The Forest of Wild Thyme (1910). But his most substantial work of all was his unperformed Nordic opera, Thelma (1907–9), which contains some of his finest and most passionate music.

His large-scale instrumental works, the Symphonic Variations on an African Air (1906) and the Violin Concerto (1911), are among his most polished essays, as are the lighter The Bamboula (1910) and Petite suite de concert (1912). Interest in his Negro heritage is demonstrated by works such as the African Suite (1899), Toussaint l’Ouverture (1901) and 24 Negro Melodies (1905), while, as a conductor, he earned the nickname ‘the black Mahler’ from New York’s orchestral players.

He was greatly mourned at his premature death on 1 September 1912, from pneumonia brought on, it was believed, by excessive strain and work, and lack of money. Parry wrote a moving obituary for the Musical Times; attempts were made to help his impecunious widow and two children, Hiawatha and Avril; and Stanford berated Novello for not giving his former pupil a proper royalty agreement on Hiawatha, one which would have rendered Coleridge-Taylor a wealthy man.

Profile © Jeremy Dibble, 2005




Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Tracks

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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Nonet in F minor, Op 2 (3rd mvt)
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Nonet in F minor, Op 2 (3rd mvt)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor Op.10 (4th mvt)
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Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor Op.10 (4th mvt)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
The Phantom tells his tale of longing (Forest Scenes)
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The Phantom tells his tale of longing (Forest Scenes)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Othello Suite, Op.79
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Othello Suite, Op.79
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Violin Concerto in G minor, Op 80 (3rd mvt)
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Violin Concerto in G minor, Op 80 (3rd mvt)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Hiawatha Overture, Op.30
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Hiawatha Overture, Op.30
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha (Onaway! Awake, beloved)
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Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha (Onaway! Awake, beloved)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Petite suite de concert Op.77: 3. Un sonnet d'amour
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Petite suite de concert Op.77: 3. Un sonnet d'amour
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
4 African dances, Op.58 - no.2, Andantino molto sostenuto e dolce
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4 African dances, Op.58 - no.2, Andantino molto sostenuto e dolce
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Ballade in A minor, Op.33
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Ballade in A minor, Op.33
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Ballade in C minor for violin and piano Op. 73 (1907)
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Ballade in C minor for violin and piano Op. 73 (1907)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Danse nègre (African Suite, Op 35)
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Danse nègre (African Suite, Op 35)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Gipsy Suite, Op.20
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Gipsy Suite, Op.20
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Romance of the Prairie Lilies, Op.39
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Romance of the Prairie Lilies, Op.39
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
A Summer Idyll
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A Summer Idyll
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Ballade in A minor, op. 33
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Ballade in A minor, op. 33
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Nonet in F minor, Op.2: 3rd movement; Scherzo: Allegro
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Nonet in F minor, Op.2: 3rd movement; Scherzo: Allegro
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Cameos, op. 56: i. Allegro ma non troppo
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Cameos, op. 56: i. Allegro ma non troppo
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Legend (Concertstuck) Op 14
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Legend (Concertstuck) Op 14
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Two Novelletes Op 52 Nos 1 and 4
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Two Novelletes Op 52 Nos 1 and 4
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor, Op 10 (2nd mvt)
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Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor, Op 10 (2nd mvt)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Christmas Overture (The Forest of Wild Thyme, Op 74)
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Christmas Overture (The Forest of Wild Thyme, Op 74)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Scenes from Hiawatha - overture Op.30`3
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Scenes from Hiawatha - overture Op.30`3
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Valse bohèmienne; Valse rustique (Four Characteristic Waltzes, Op 22)
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Valse bohèmienne; Valse rustique (Four Characteristic Waltzes, Op 22)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Nonet in F minor, Op.2 (2nd mvt)
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Nonet in F minor, Op.2 (2nd mvt)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Four Characteristic Waltzes (Valse de la reine)
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Four Characteristic Waltzes (Valse de la reine)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
24 Negro Melodies, Op. 59: No. 10. Deep River
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24 Negro Melodies, Op. 59: No. 10. Deep River
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Valse bohèmienne (Four Characteristic Waltzes, Op 22)
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Valse bohèmienne (Four Characteristic Waltzes, Op 22)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Allegro con moto from Piano quintet in G minor, Op.1
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Allegro con moto from Piano quintet in G minor, Op.1
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Petite Suite (La Caprice de Nanette)
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Petite Suite (La Caprice de Nanette)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: IV. She sat and sang alway
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6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: IV. She sat and sang alway
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: III. Oh roses for the flush of youth
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6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: III. Oh roses for the flush of youth
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: II. When I am dead, my dearest
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6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: II. When I am dead, my dearest
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: I. Oh what comes over the sea
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6 Sorrow songs, Op. 57: I. Oh what comes over the sea
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor, Op 10 (4th mvt)
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Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor, Op 10 (4th mvt)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Petite suite de concert Op.77: 4. La tarantelle fretillante
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Petite suite de concert Op.77: 4. La tarantelle fretillante
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor, Op.10 - 2nd movement, Larghetto affettuoso
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Clarinet Quintet in F sharp minor, Op.10 - 2nd movement, Larghetto affettuoso
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Hiawatha's Wedding Feast Op.30`1 - Part 1 Of Scenes From 'Hiawatha'
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Hiawatha's Wedding Feast Op.30`1 - Part 1 Of Scenes From 'Hiawatha'
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
La caprice de Nanette (Petite suite de concert)
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La caprice de Nanette (Petite suite de concert)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Variations in B minor for cello and piano
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Variations in B minor for cello and piano
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Hiawatha: Part One - Hiawatha's Wedding Feast
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Hiawatha: Part One - Hiawatha's Wedding Feast

Hiawatha: Part One - Hiawatha's Wedding Feast

Orchestra
Orchestra and Chorus of Welsh National Opera
Conductor
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