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A CONCERT

Synopsis

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Doris DuTsoN (Contralto)
THE GERSHOM PARKINGTON QUINTET
COLERIDGE-TAYLOR spent his boyhood in Croydon, where his father was a doctor, but at the age of fifteen came to London to study violin and composition at the Royal College of Music. He won a Composition scholarship, and very soon made his mark as a new composer with very fresh and natural gifts of his own. He was still a student when the first part of the Hiawatha trilogy appeared, the work which has since remained the most popular, as it is in many ways the best, of his music. But even that was not his first success. He had produced many pieces, particularly in the domain of chamber music, which attracted the interest of the English world of music, and one, at least, of which was played in Berlin by the Joachim Quartet. Hiawatha's Wedding Feast was followed two years later by the second part of the trilogy, The Death of Minnehaha, and the year after that, 1900, by Hiawatlia's Departure. The work is known all over the English-speaking world, and there cannot be many choral societies which have not sung it, in whole or in part ; it is clearly destined to maintain its hold on the popular affections.
Many other choral works followed Hiawatha, but, except for A Talc of Old Japan, none has made so lasting an impression. It seems as though his music, wedded to Longfellow's verse, formed an ideal combination, such as other texts could not inspire. With music written for the production of plays, however, Coleridge-Taylor was specially successful; the barbaric gorgeous-ness of Herod, Ulysses, and Nero, by Stephen Phillips , owed a good deal of their effect to his strong and individual music. Some of his pieces originally written for such stage productions still survive happily in the form of orchestral Suites.
Three times Coleridge-Taylor went to America to superintend productions of his own music there, but apart from that, his life was in the main uneventful, and a list of his more important compositions would form a pretty complete summary of it. For a time he was conductor of the Handel Society, proving himself a more than capable chorus-master, and he was enthusiastic in the Competition Festival movement, acting as judge in many parts of the country ; and during the last year of his life he was one of the Professors at the Guildhall School of Music. His industrious and happy life came to an end when he was just thirty-seven.
The name of this Suite means simply that it is in the usual 3-4 or waltz rhythm-a measure in which Coleridge-Taylor wrote some really seductive melodies.

Contributors

Unknown: Joachim Quartet.
Unknown: Stephen Phillips

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