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Catalyst Quartet Releases UNCOVERED Vol. 1

Featuring the works Of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with Stewart Goodyear and Anthony McGill.

Catalyst Quartet Releases UNCOVERED Vol. 1

On Friday, February 5, 2021, GRAMMY Award-winning Catalyst Quartet releases UNCOVERED Volume 1 on Azica Records. The first of a multi-volume set, Volume 1 features the works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor including his Quintet in G minor for Piano and Strings with pianist Stewart Goodyear, Fantasiestück, and Quintet in F sharp minor with clarinetist Anthony McGill. UNCOVERED Volume 2 will feature the works of Florence Price and Volume 3 and beyond will feature Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still, and George Walker among others.

Catalyst Quartet poses, "Over the course of time there have been many overlooked artists in classical music, especially because of their race or gender. It is important to acknowledge that we have not yet heard the whole story due to this sidelining of musical voices. Composers like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson have contributed beautifully crafted work to the repertoire but are not widely celebrated because quality recordings and performances of their music are rare or non existent. With our next recording project we are helping to change this unfortunate reality."

Catalyst Quartet violist Paul Laraia writes, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an iconic, Afro-British composer and a descendent of freed slaves who fought for the British in the American Revolutionary War. He was fascinated by the musical traditions of the American Spiritual, and sought to incorporate them into the classical tradition in the manner of Brahms with Hungarian music and Dvořák with Bohemian music. Despite being a success in his day and enjoying the support of Edward Elgar and noteworthy critics, he died relatively young at the age of 37 in financial stress, having received no royalties from his Song of Hiawatha, which was wildly successful throughout his lifetime. His story and death inspired the formation of the Performing Rights Society in England."

The UNCOVERED project aims to bring together the missing gems of the string quartet repertoire, in order to have a deeper and fuller understanding of musical eras that were much richer in experiences and perspectives than previously celebrated. Composers like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson have contributed beautifully crafted work to the repertoire but are not widely celebrated because recordings and performances of their music are rare or non existent. Despite this, each composer has his or her own incredible story and unique compositional voice, that exemplifies their individual struggles and triumphs as pioneers of black-art in a traditionally white environment. It is imperative that their stories are told, and that we hear all the voices that have shaped and contributed to classical music.


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