Wednesday, December 22, 2010 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's 'Nonet' is 'a masterpiece of late romantic chamber music'

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Chamber Music; The Coleridge Ensemble; AFKA SK-543 (1998)]

The Afro-British composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at The Nonet discussed below remains in print. Merchants offer it new for as little as $13.59:
"Saturday's matinée concert will feature Nonet by a composer who died 98 years ago
The last concert of the year for the Music Club will be a matinée concert at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library.” “The program will consist of Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonata in G Major for Two Flutes and Continuo (Duffy, Hahn and Sonquist); selected movements from Bach’s Suite No. 5 in C-Minor for Solo Cello; and the Nonet in F-Minor for Piano, Cello, Double Bass, Violin, Clarinet, Horn, Oboe and Viola, Opus 2 by British composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor (1875-1912).

“That this concert provides the West Coast premiere of a work by a composer who died 98 years ago requires, perhaps, some background." “Taylor, born in London, was a contemporary of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sergei Rachmaninoff — and sounds it.” “He studied violin at the Royal College of Music and composition with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, who predicted a great career for him and conducted the premiere of his best-known work, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. Edward Elgar hailed him as a 'genius,' and he wasn’t just being polite. He died of pneumonia when he was 37.”

“It’s certainly legitimate to ascribe the near century of obscurity suffered by Taylor to his color, but that’s not the reason you should go to hear the Nonet. It is a masterpiece of late romantic chamber music, and the reason we are only just now hearing it on the West Coast is that it and two other major chamber works weren’t published until 1999, when they were brought out by freelance music editor Patrick Meadows. All three have now been recorded, and are performed with ever-increasing frequency.”

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