|why has this been neglected?
||[Feb. 26th, 2007|11:33 am]
20th Century English Music
|||||Coleridge-Taylor: Violin Concerto!||]|
I recently downloaded a recording of a violin concerto which has been scandalously neglected since it was written in early 1900s. It's the Violin Concerto in G Minor by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor [1875-1912]. A sadly neglected English composer!
He was born in Croydon to an English mother and a Sierra Leone Creole father, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He toured America in 1904 and his most well-known composition was 'Hiawatha's Wedding-feast'.
The American performance of the violin concerto had to be postponed because the parts were sent on the RMS Titanic. It has been recorded by Philippe Graffin and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Here's a snippet from the notes:
'The concerto - which has only been performed a handful of times and never recorded before the present account follows the traditional three-movement format. The solemn and lyrical character of the sonata-form first movement seems to recall Dvorak at times, Grieg at others and, in the rich use of the brass section, Elgar, whom Coleridge-Taylor revered. Some of its melodic contours occasionally suggest the influence of Negro spiritual themes.'
I've only listened to this piece a couple of times but it has a real warmth and passion, and some memorable tunes. It definitely had the 'English feel' to it - and all Brigg Fair members would love it, I'm sure.
Sadly, on September 1, 1912 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor died of pneumonia complicated by exhaustion from overwork. He was just 37 years old. Although he took on an excessive work load of composing, conducting and teaching, he still had difficulty supporting his family. When he published a work of music he received only a small one-time payment from the publisher. The circumstances of his death contributed greatly to the subsequent adoption of a system of royalties for composers in the U.K.
More at http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/Song.html#1
There's a recording of the violin concerto at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.