Coleridge-Taylor Clarinet Quintet
Talented RCM chamber musicians perform RCM alumnus Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's little-known but masterful Clarinet Quintet.
Written for clarinet, two violins, viola and cello, its composition was prompted by RCM professor Charles Villiers Stanford’s comment that no one would be able to compose a Clarinet Quintet that did not show Brahms’ influence. Coleridge-Taylor took this as a challenge and Stanford, on examining the result, remarked, ‘you’ve done it, me boy!’ The original manuscript now resides in the RCM Library.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor began studying at the Royal College of Music in 1890, at the age of 15. In 1895 he wrote his rhythmically exuberant and complex Clarinet Quintet, displaying his mastery of the chamber music genre. Coleridge-Taylor soon began earning a reputation as a talented composer, and in 1898 Stanford conducted the world premiere of Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, earning him three tours of the United States. Here he became increasingly interested in his father’s Sierra Leone Creole heritage, going on to become the youngest delegate at the first Pan-African Conference in 1990 and to meet President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904.
In Focus is an RCM initiative to share unique areas of music-making at the College with our audiences. Designed to be watched online, our immersive films offer viewers the chance to experience the warmth, intimacy and richness of chamber music, wherever they are.
Filmed across our state-of-the-art venues, roving cameras offer audiences a unique perspective on our musicians’ technique and on-stage communication during the performance. There will also be the opportunity to hear more about the music direct from the performers and to discover the intriguing stories behind the programmes through the range of artefacts, instruments and paintings held in the RCM’s treasured collections.
How to watch
This event will be broadcast as a YouTube and Facebook Premiere. Join us online for live chat and to watch with audiences all over the world. If you can’t make it for the premiere event you can catch-up in your own time; the video will be available to watch on-demand afterwards.
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