Friday, June 8, 2012

ArtsComments: Violin Concerto of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Performed by Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 80; Philippe Graffin, violin; Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra Avie 0044 (2004)]
An unusual symphony concert featuring Philippe Graffin and the JPO
Posted on June 7, 2012 

"The programme for the fifth concert of the second season was marvellous – just two works – the little known Violin Concerto by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (not the poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge) and Bruckner’s fourth and most accessible symphony."

"It is the centenary year of the death of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Philippe Graffin’s playing of this work with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra is timeous, despite it not being the first time they have collaborated on this particular work, having made the world premiere recording of this work in 2004 under the baton of Michael Hankinson, for Avie Records, a recording which was shortlisted for the Gramaphone awards. As far as I can ascertain Naxos, usually renowned for recording little known repertoire, have not yet recorded this.

"The work itself is very pretty and I was somewhat surprised that it was so neglected for almost a century. I am grateful to Philippe Graffin for resurrecting it and bringing it to the attention of the South African public by playing it this season. Philippe Graffin is a superb violinist and the JPO played it beautifully lead by Russian Thomas Sanderling. It was quite wonderful.

"It is worth noting even though it has nothing to do with the JPO, well, other than they are both presenting Samuel Coleridge-Taylor pieces in his centenary year, that Maestro Richard Cock will be leading the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg with the ad hoc Johannesburg Festival Orchestra in a rendition of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s best known work, the Hiawatha Wedding Cantata on 24 June 2012 also at the Linder Auditorium at 15:00." 

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,  We are collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]

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