Just six days younger than Ketèlbey, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912) was born in Holborn, London, the son of a doctor from Sierra Leone and an Englishwoman. He studied violin and piano at The Royal College of Music and was recognized as a composer of great promise after his Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast
was premiered at the college in 1898. He went on to complete a Hiawatha
trilogy, as well as much other vocal, chamber and orchestral music, including a violin concerto. Besides more ambitious works, he composed lighter compositions, of which the most enduring was the Petite Suite de Concert
(1910), a work that set a standard for many subsequent four-movement suites. It begins with the coquettish ‘La caprice de Nanette’ and continues with its most familiar movement, ‘Demande et réponse’, a work of Elgarian grace whose ongoing popularity led to its arrangement as a song ‘Question and Answer’. The third movement, ‘Un sonnet d’amour’ (‘A Love Sonnet’) is a lyrical serenade, while the final ‘Tarantelle frétillante’ (‘Frisky Tarantella’) provides a suitably lively conclusion.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2002