Sunday, December 7, 2008

'Christmas Overture' of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Available On Naxos & Pristine Audio CDs

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman; Cedille 90000 055 (2000)]

The little-known Christmas Overture of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who is profiled at, is now available on two separate CDs, on the Naxos and Pristine Audio labels. We present a brief review of each disc.

“The two orchestral pieces are also very finely transferred, a vigorously played overture to Hansel and Gretel, conducted by the great Albert Coates, whose reputation as a fine musician is undiminished, and a rarity, the Christmas Overture by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, whose all-too-short life makes one think what might have been had he lived longer.”

“Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is best known for his Hiawatha trilogy, but his Christmas Overture appeared only in 1925 after being arranged by Sydney Baynes, composer of the ‘Destiny Waltz.’ It is a nicely put-together piece, being more than just a pot-pourri of Christmas tunes, but cleverly integrating some famous carols like Hark the herald angels sing and God rest you, merry gentlemen into a pleasantly coherent work.  Dominy Clements”

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