Samuel Amidst the Russians

By Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875 – 1912) a London born, mixed-race composer – referred to as the “African Mahler” – I have Uncovered Vol 1(Piano quintet etc); British Light Music: Suites: Hiawatha, Othello. I don’t recall how I came across Coleridge-Taylor but I was happy to discover him. Can you name any black, classical composers? (Maybe Beethoven – whom Coleridge-Taylor believed was black?)

The fact that one set of his suites is labeled as part of the British Light Music reflects that he wasn’t a Mahler after all but more in line with Elgar, one of his  mentors. Pleasant & non-demanding to the listener this is good, easy listening classical music but lacks personality. 

Maybe if I hadn’t plunked him down in the middle these Russians composers Samuel may have fared better 🙂 On this mp3 cd collection I added: Mussorgsky (Russian): Pictures at an Exhibition, performed by the Trio Solisti (cello, violin, piano) – I have countless versions of Pictures – orchestra, organ, piano duo, jazz – this is a chamber music version & is excellent; Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian) Overtures & Suites: includes Snowmaiden, Christmas Eve – some of these are lush, patriotic, romanic & epic. 

Borodin (Russian): although he regarded medicine and science as his primary occupations, his music is what he is remembered for. Here I have his masterful String Quartets. I love string quartets & these are somber, melodic & sonorous (in a good way). Finally by a master of the romantic style is Tchaikovsky (Russian) with his Liturgy of St. John. These are elegant, almost meditative as he tones down his usual melodramatic hyper-romantic style. I was saving opera for my ‘old age’ but it seems religious choral work fulfilled that aim. Much of it is written with deliberate sonic scale to subtly draw your ears in – which contemporary beta beats music does.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees. Thanks 

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