Cumbria Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Andrew Palmer
Group Editor
3:10 PM 14th May 2022

Classical Music Album: Coleridge-Taylor

Coleridge-Taylor Nonet ‘Gradus ad Parnassum’; Piano Trio; Piano Quintet Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective Armand Djikoloum (oboe), Matthew Hunt (clarinet), Amy Harman (bassoon), Ben Goldscheider (horn), Elena Urioste (violin), Savitri Grier (violin), Rosalind Ventris (viola) Laura van der Heijden (cello), Xavier Foley (double-bass) Tom Poster Piano).

Chandos CHAN 20242
Released 27 May 2022

The cover captures the essence of this wonderful CD; a disc to enjoy and one that has so much to offer.

For anyone who just knows Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s cantata Hiawatha’s Wedding, this disc is a surprise with its inspired repertoire
. All three pieces were composed during Coleridge-Taylor’s time as a student at the Royal College of Music and remained unpublished during his lifetime.

Lyricism shines through not least in the opening of the Nonet with a lovely melody from the clarinet. The work, with its Dvorak and Brahms influences, is scored for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass. The nine players delight, successfully conveying the youthfulness, joy, freshness, and optimism. The horn and piano are charming, and the recording engineers have done an excellent job, especially hearing the pizzicato in the scherzo and each of the instruments adds its open personality. The attractive theme of the first movement has an earworm quality.

The outstanding Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, dreamed up in 2017 by Tom Poster and Elena Urioste, Radio 3 New Generation Artists, give compelling performances of this luscious music and it sparkles with colour and shade. They diligently put together the repertoire correcting numerous inaccuracies in the music editions.

The Piano Trio is all too short and played impeccably. The Piano Quintet is given energy and warmth from the players and the Larghetto is elegantly played. In his notes, Mervyn Cooke writes that the Croydon Advertiser praised the originality of the musical material, and felt that the score was 'full of beautiful characters'; the critic clearly could not believe that the composer was so young.

Chamber music to savour, the playing is assured and polished and ten out of ten for Chandos which has produced a disc with lovely repertoire, excellent playing and engineered superbly.