Published on 02 Feb 2012
Jonathan Butcher writes:
Up until 1900 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (born in 1875) had had little to do with composing for the theatre. His main body of work was choral and orchestral and, of course, his most famous opus, and the one that catapulted him to fame more or less overnight, was his major oratorio, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, to words by Longfellow, a poem that Coleridge-Taylor had long admired. Sadly, although this was performed all over the world and for two weeks every summer for a good many years at the Royal Albert Hall (with its companion pieces The Death of Minnehaha and Hiawatha’s Departure), he made little or no money out of the work, because he sold it outright to Novello & Co. Ltd. – something he was to regret bitterly.
[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor(1875-1912) is featured at AfriClassical.com. Major observances of the Centennial of his death are underway and are the work of organizations including the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation, http://www.sctf.org.uk, which has just been entrusted with an extensive Bibliography compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, http://www.CasaMusicaledeLerma.com and made available at the website of the Foundation.]