Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (15 August 1875 – 1 September 1912) was an English composer and conductor who was mixed-race, part Sierra Leone Creole. He achieved such success that he was referred to by white New York musicians as the "African Mahler" at the time when he toured the United States. He was born in 1875 in Holborn, London, to Alice Hare Martin (1856–1953), an English woman, and Dr. Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, a Creole from Sierra Leone, of mixed European and African descent. His mother named her son Samuel Coleridge Taylor after the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
By 1896, Coleridge-Taylor was already earning a reputation as a composer. He was later helped by Edward Elgar, who recommended him to the Three Choirs Festival. His "Ballade in A minor" was premiered there. His early work was also guided by the influential music editor and critic August Jaeger of music publisher Novello; he told Elgar that Taylor was "a genius". Stanford also was as champion of his music.
Coleridge-Taylor was 37 when he died of pneumonia, but his death is often attributed to the stress of his financial situation.
"Melody" is the third of "Three Short Pieces," which were published by Novello in 1898.
Unfortunately, this is the only of the set that I have. The other two are "Arietta" and "Elegy."
There is something very special about this piece. It is a profound and dignified work. It's NOT from the "cathedral school," although it could be. I can't place the "influences" that are heard in this work, but I was very moved by this.
The interest, flow and direction are maintained throughout the entire piece, and the harmonic management is really beautiful. There is an "old-fashioned" elegance about the piece, but, there seems to be something "modern" about it as well.
I think many will find this to be a useful piece, and the score is attached below, as well as several photos of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
More of his works (transcriptions) to follow ASAP!