Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004), named for the black Romantic-era composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, had wide-ranging musical interests. He composed classical works, but also worked as a jazz pianist and wrote film scores as well as pop arrangements for the likes of Marvin Gaye and Harry Belafonte. His classical concert music fuses Baroque sensibility and lyrical expression with elements of the blues, jazz, and spirituals in a strikingly contemporary sound.
Perkinson wrote about his String Quartet No. 1 ''Calvary'' (1956): "When I sat down to write this string quartet, I was not trying to write something Black, I was just writing out of my experience." He puts the traditional spiritual ''Calvary'' thru a jazzy prism in this energetic, effervescent work, showcasing his substantive and masterful string writing throughout. For advanced players.