Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Nonet, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet
Until the early 2000s, the Victorian-era Black composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was known for a mere handful of works, including his Violin Concerto in G Minor and his celebrated, epic oratorio The Song of Hiawatha. On this album, the superb Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, made up of bright young talents in 2022, shines an important light on three early chamber works from 1893-1894, composed when Coleridge-Taylor was a student at London’s Royal College of Music. Each work here shows the young composer as a master of harmony and counterpoint with a refined instinct for subtle colors and textures. The Nonet in F Minor, reminiscent of Dvořák from its opening notes, proves an effervescent, coruscating work, while the dramatic Piano Quintet in G Minor oozes Brahmsian scope and Elgarian ardor. The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective infuse energy and wit into these performances that rightly bring Coleridge-Taylor out from the shadows.