COLERIDGE-TAYLOR Nonet. Piano Trio. Piano Quintet

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Chamber

Label: Chandos

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 64

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: CHAN20242

CHAN20242. COLERIDGE-TAYLOR Nonet. Piano Trio. Piano Quintet

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Nonet Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Composer
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Piano Trio Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Composer
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Piano Quintet Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Composer
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

These three chamber works, which lay undisturbed and unperformed for the whole of the last century, were selected to be performed by the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective to mark their appointment in 2020 as Wigmore Hall’s Associate Ensemble. Indeed, while the Nonet and Piano Quartet have been disinterred for performance over the past couple of decades, the brief Piano Trio was possibly at that London concert receiving its first performance since a student run-through at the Royal College of Music almost 130 years ago. The three works make an impressive sequence, demonstrating Coleridge-Taylor’s precocity: each dates from around 1893, when he was an 18-year-old student at the RCM and five years before he composed Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, the cantata that made his name on both sides of the Atlantic.

The two larger works here, the Nonet and the Quintet, burst with confidence and freshness. Coleridge-Taylor may have imbibed the examples of Brahms and Schumann from his teacher, Stanford, but there is a notable individuality to his themes, harmonies and developmental gambits. It’s easy to play spot-the-influence – the usual suspects from the European Romantic repertory and especially Dvořák, Coleridge-Taylor’s idol, almost to the point of direct quotation in places – but the emerging voice is singular and personal, for all that the external stimuli are yet to be fully digested. The Piano Trio is far more terse, lasting all of nine minutes and devoid of a slow movement.

The Kaleidoscope players coalesce around the husband-and-wife duo of Elena Urioste and Tom Poster, and with musicians of the calibre of cornist Ben Goldscheider and cellist Laura van der Heijden, the performances match the assurance and spirit of the music. Only the Quintet has been recorded before – by the Nash Ensemble and by the Tippett Quartet with pianist Lynn Arnold – but the Nonet, whose autograph manuscript can be followed online, is a valuable addition to the catalogue. The listener is reminded to some extent of Schubert, the sound world sitting between that of the Trout Quintet on the one hand and the Octet on the other; the oboe is the only instrument unique to the Nonet. There’s a marked Mendelssohnian lightness to the Scherzo, too. Nevertheless, the Nonet impresses in its own right for its youthful zeal, its genuine craftsmanship and its notable ambition and imagination.

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