Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel: Three Impromptus for Organ. Op 78
With an introduction by Richard Hills
Organist Richard Hills introduces this reissue of a neglected Edwardian classic with a timely note on performance-style, the composer and his works. Varied in colour and mood, and written with an idiomatic command of the instrument, these Three Impromptus reinforce the impression of Coleridge-Taylor not only as a versatile presence on the Edwardian scene, but also as a composer whose music is an enduring part of our British musical heritage.
Stylistically, the Three Impromptus bear a closer resemblance to the composer’s theatrical works than to those intended for the church or concert hall. This light-hearted approach to organ composition is all the more striking when one compares these pieces with others written during the same period by Coleridge-Taylor’s colleagues and teachers, many of whom were heavily influenced by the German Romantic tradition of Josef Rheinberger and Max Reger. As original compositions (as opposed to transcriptions) the Three Impromptus should prove an invaluable addition to the repertoire for recitalists wishing to programme sophisticated lighter fare that has immediate appeal.