Monday, 9 April 2012

Centenary of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Well not only this year did the Titanic go down but also poor Coleridge-Taylor who succumbed to pneumonia a few days after collapsing at West Croydon Station in South London.

His music is quite out of fashion today and even in the first half of the 20th century very little of his output was recorded. Not to everyone's taste so I will spread the recording over the coming month or so.

Coleridge-Taylor:  Petite Suite de Concert, Op.77 (1911)
1. La Caprice de Nanette 2. Demande et réponse
3. Un sonnet d'amour 4. La tarantelle frétillante
De Groot and The Piccadilly Orchestra
HMV C1218 & C1233 
[Cc 6264-5 10th September 1925; Cc 6364-1 16th July 1925; 
Cc6957-1Cc6958-1 15 October 1925]
Piano Score at IMSLP

4 Flac files in a .rar file, HERE at Mediafire. [about 43Mb].

The records are kindly lent from:-  
CharmNick at Grumpy's Classic Cave

The earliest notice I have been able to find of a performance is recorded in The Musical Times of May 1911 'On  March 20 [1911],  a  new  amateur musical  organization, the  Birmingham Orchestral Society, gave  its  first concert  in  the  Temperance  Hall,  under  its  trainer and  conductor, Mr. Arthur Cooke, a  local pianist and teacher.  The hall does not lend itself acoustically to an orchestral concert, but one  was  nevertheless able  to judge  of the orchestra's capabilities, which promise greater things in the future.  One of the best things given was  Coleridge-Taylor's  picturesque 'Petite suite de Concert,' not heard in public previously.  Of the four movements, the first received the best exposition.' Oddly I discovered that eight measures of the opening suite were apparently suited to the 'Jealousy Theme' in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, that 1923 blockbuster starring Rudolph Valentino. Sadly these arrangements are probably lost but one wonders at the dexterity and imagination of the arranger.

Almost a disc a month was produced by De Groot and the Piccadilly Orchestra during the 1920s mostly 10" light music but here two 12" records were needed, one issued in November 1925 ant the other in February 1926 as is clear from the matrix numbers there was quite a lot of difficulty obtaining a satisfactory recording with the new Western Electric recording process

Off for a week of work in the US (not on the Titanic, phew) so won't be able to play for a short while.


  1. Thank you to you and Nick for this interesting upload - and for the many others you've posted. "British Masterpieces" has also given me great pleasure.

  2. And thank you from me, too - my part was minimal, Jolyon did all the hard work! Nick

  3. Just chanced on your blog. Details of 2 upcoming Rembering Samuel Coleridge-Taylor events in London can be fund at:

  4. Muchas gracias por esta joya, saludos.