COLERIDGE-TAYLOR, Samuel, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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COLERIDGE-TAYLOR, Samuel (1875-1912). Composer of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast.
Autograph Manuscripts of six songs for voice and piano, 1896.

Written on four systems of three staves 4to (blank staves between the systems), 16 pages 4to, words and music complete with a few pencilled notes passim. Inscribed at the head of the first song 'Five ['Six' deleted] Love Lyrics (English & Southern) by Various Authors / Set to music by S. Coleridge-Taylor Op.12'.

The songs are:
1. 'My love (a Spanish Ditty - Longfellow)', 3 pages.
2. 'Tears (a Lament)', 2 pages.
3. 'Minguillo (Lockhart)', 3 pages.
4. 'If thou art sleeping maiden (Portuguese - Longfellow)', 2 pages.
5. [sic] Keep those Eyes still partly mine, 2 pages both lightly crossed through in pencil (apparently unpublished).
5. Oh! my lonely,- lonely, - lonely - Pillow. (Byron)', 4 pages.

Bound together in full black morocco (spine decayed and stitching loose, stamped in gilt on the upper cover 'M.M.E.') with the published score ('Southern Love Songs'), Augener & Co., London, copyright 1896, inscribed in ink at the head of the titlepage: 'To Miss Mamie Fraser / with all best wishes for the New Year / from S. Coleridge Taylor [sic] / Jan 1897. Also included is the score of Coleridge-Taylor's 'African Romances' (1897), inscribed to Mamie Fraser.

Mamie Ellis (hence the initials on the cover) née Fraser, was a fellow student and evidently a close friend of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor at the Royal College of Music in 1897. The composer, whose father was from Sierra Leone, studied composition under Charles Villiers Stanford. Elgar recommended the Three Choirs Festival to commission his Ballade in A minor, first performed in 1898. His most popular work was the cantata 'The Song of Hiawatha', from which 'Hiawatha's Wedding Feast' received its first performance in the same year. The work was to become immensely popular with choral societies, although the composer was to receive little financial reward from it after he had sold the copyright. He visited the United States three times, and was proud of his identity as a black composer, a fact which also inspired several of his compositions including the 'African Romances', an 'African Suite' and '24 Negro Melodies'.
[No: 25543]

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