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Saturday, June 24 – First of three B’s “BACH”

June 24 @ 7:30 pm

St. Augustine Music Festival 3 Color Logo

Baroque Night

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor     4 Novelletten for Strings, Op. 52

I. Allegro moderato
II. Larghetto
III. Andante con moto
IV. Allegro molto

JS Bach                              Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major

I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro assai

Aurica Duca Violin, Les Roettges Flute, Daniel Rios Oboe, Robert Smith Trumpet


Felix Mendelssohn            String Symphony No. 11, in F Major

I. Allegro di molto
II. Andante
III. Menuet con fuoco – Più stretto
IV. Allegro con fuoco

SAMF Chamber Orchestra



Samuel Coleridge Taylor (1875-1912) Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born in London in 1875 to an English mother and a Sierra Leonean father. He grew up in a musical household, receiving early tuition on the violin from his grandfather who noticed and nurtured his considerable musical talent. At the age of 15 he commenced formal musical training at the Royal College of Music in London where he developed an interest in composition and received early support from the famous British composer Edward Elgar who was one of the leading figures in composition of the day.

On graduating Coleridge-Taylor would go on to have a fruitful and long career, composing in a diverse range of styles for major orchestras and ensembles around the world. In his music he wanted to create a synthesis of the classical style he had studied and the African music of his roots; this unique combination garnered great support from the African American community and led to numerous tours, engagements, and commissions in the United States.

Samuel Coleridge Taylor almost certainly borrowed the term ‘Noveletten’ (novelty pieces) from one of his musical heroes Robert Schumann, who wrote a set of 8 piano pieces by the same title in 1838. Just like Schumann’s piano pieces, these are designed to be brief, brightly colored character pieces designed for nothing more than pure musical enjoyment.

Movement 1 ‘Allegro Moderato’ kicks off the set in style with a lilting, luxurious dance in triple time. The inclusion of tambourine and triangle in this movement add to the dance-like feel, suggesting something between a folk dance and an opulent ballroom. Movement 2 ‘Larghetto’ is a gently teasing march that is continuously pushing and pulling the listener, a solo cello features prominently at the heart of this movement. Movement 3 ‘Valse’ is the most lyrical of the three movements, throughout this movement the solo violin soars high above the texture singing a melancholy, lyrical melody that eventually dissipates to nothing. The final movement ‘Allegro molto’ starts and ends with brusque unison music that bookends a more lyrical whimsical middle section.

Johann Sebastien Bach (1685-1750) J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047 was composed in around 1721 as part of a collection of six concertos dedicated to Christian Ludwig the Margrave of Brandenburg.

The Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 stands out from the rest of the set due to its unique instrumentation. It features a solo ensemble consisting of trumpet, recorder, oboe, and violin, accompanied by a supporting ensemble of strings and continuo. This unconventional ensemble creates a rich and diverse sound palette, allowing each instrument to shine individually and in conjunction with the others.

The concerto is structured in three movements: an exuberant and joyful Allegro, a serene and contemplative Andante, and a lively and energetic Allegro assai. Bach deftly weaves elaborate melodic lines and rhythmic interplay throughout the movements, creating a dynamic and engaging musical experience.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 exemplifies the Baroque concerto style with its virtuosic solo passages, brilliant ornamentation, and complex contrapuntal textures. Bach’s meticulous attention to detail and his ability to balance individual voices within the unconventional ensemble showcases his unparalleled craftsmanship.

Felix Mendelsohn (1809 – 1847)Felix Mendelssohn was one of the most productive musical prodigies to have ever lived, amongst his many youthful achievements the 13 string symphonies composed from 1821-1823 stand out as some of his most complete and mature early musical expressions. String Symphony No. 11 in F minor was composed when Mendelssohn was just 14 years old and displays a level of musical maturity and sophistication beyond his years.

String Symphony No. 11 is scored for string orchestra and is structured in an ambitious five movement format. The symphony opens with a dark, brooding introduction which gives way to a more shimmering, dynamic music, this first movement sets the somber tone of the entire symphony. The music is characterized by its expressive melodies, rich harmonies, and intricate counterpoint.

In contrast to the somberness of the first movement, the second folk-like movement brings a sense of light and playfulness and is subtitled ‘Schweizerlied’ (Swiss Song). Here, Mendelssohn’s youthful energy shines through in lively, spirited themes. The movement showcases his mastery of orchestration, as the strings engage in intricate dialogues and back-and-forths to create a vibrant atmosphere.

A dreamy Adagio and an agitated Menuet then lead the way to the final movement, which returns to the melancholic mood of the opening, and eventually brings the symphony to a brusque conclusion. Mendelssohn’s gift for creating poignant melodies is evident in this movement, as he weaves together a tapestry of emotions that captivate the listener.

The Program Notes for the concert have been provided by Organist Tim Tuller for the June 30 concert and by Benjamin Picard for the other six concerts of the Music Festival.



June 24
7:30 pm