Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Symphony in A minor & Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast

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1 CD 

Classical Music 

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23 June 2022

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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast

Symphony in A minor

Details

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Symphony in A minor

Aarhus Symphony OrchestraDouglas Bostock (Conductor)

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast

Royal Choral Society, Philharmonia OrchestraSir Malcolm Sargent (Conductor)

“(His) Symphony is a very likeable discovery. Both middle movements display a disarming melodic felicity and assurance, and admiring glances towards Dvořák, although Stanford (his teacher) was never happy with the finale. It was first played by RCM students in 1896 (including Holst and Vaughan Williams !). Although it went down well, it gathered dust for over a century. Bostock’s alert and affectionate lead enjoy making its acquaintance … crisp and clear sound for this world premiere recording. In every respect, a solid thumbs-up” [Gramophone] “The much-loved Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast recalls the extraordinary excitement of its first performance. Coleridge-Taylor was then 23 and the work an immediate and wild success. Parry suggested that because of the composer’s West African father, “he loved plenty of sound, plenty of colour, simple and definite rhythms and, above all, plenty of tune”. All these qualities kept it popular, and are admirably captured here: the Philharmonia provide the orchestral colour, and Sir Malcolm keeps the admirable Royal Choral Society on their rhythmic toes. Richard Lewis gives a suitably romantic Onaway! Awake, beloved ! Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast has been done proud in every way” [Gramophone]

There is no doubting the strength of Coleridge-Taylor’s invention, though, in this generally affable work, especially in this sprightly performance [of the Symphony]…Sargent’s exuberant 1962 recording [of Hiawatha’s Wedding] with the Royal Choral Society and Philharmonia Orchestra is an invaluable document of a remarkable phenomenon arising from some utterly enchanting music.— BBC Music Magazine, May 2022