Sheralyn and I were treated to a wonderful HSO concert program in Jones Hall this last Saturday night, which featured Copland's Clarinet Concerto and Beethoven's Symphony #2; but it was a lesser known piece [to me] that captured my attention. Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson's Sinfonietta #1. This was a wonderful piece that we [Sheralyn and me] had never heard before, but really loved. Also, ashamedly, we knew very little of this 20th century African-American composer/conductor.
This from AfricaClassical.com: "African American composer and conductor Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson was born on June 14, 1932. Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma is a specialist in African
heritage in classical music, and has kindly made his research file on Perkinson available to this site. He points out
that Perkinson was named for the Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor":
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson's Sinfonietta #1 has quotes of Bach in the first movement along with the use of some polyphony, a characteristic from the Baroque Era. The second movement was very moving to me, almost sacred in its phrasing. The piece, composed in 1953, is scored for string orchestra with four short movements: 1. Allegro, 2. Largo, 3. Rondo - Allegro Furioso, 4. Allegro Vivace.
Listen to this beautiful mesmerizing Largo from his Sinfonietta for Strings: