The Art of Sir Granville Bantock

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The Art of Sir Granville Bantock (1868-1946) (playlist 1)

English: Pencil drawing of Granville Bantock
Pencil drawing of Granville Bantock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Track Listing:

1. Dante & Beatrice (Poem for orchestra) 1901 revised 1910.
Maestroso - Poco largamente - Vivi - Lento - Allegro con fuoco - Apassionato - Sostenuto cantabile - Andante tranquillo, poco rubato

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
David Towse, leader
Conducted by Vernon Handley

2. Desert Caravan
Recorded ca1948 on Paxton PR 429 by The London Promenade Orchestra conducted by Walter Collins.

3. Helene - Orchestral variation on the theme HFB, 1899
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
David Towse, leader
Conducted by Vernon Handley

4. The Glory of the Sun
Recorded ca1948 on Paxton PR 424 by The London Promenade Orchestra conducted by Walter Collins.

5. Prometheus Unbound
Black Dyke Mills Band
This was the test-piece at the National Championships in 1933, held in Crustal Palace, London, England

6. Sapphic Poem for cello
and orchestra by Granville Bantock
Julian Lloyd-Webber, cello
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vernon Handley, conductor

7. The Witch of Atlas, symphonic poem (1902)
Vernon Handley, conductor

8. Atalanta in Calydon: Choral Symphony after Algernon Swinburne (1911)
I. Ode 1: When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces [0:00]
II. Ode 2: Before the beginning of years [7:13]
III. Ode 3: We have seen thee, O Love, thou art fair [16:47]
IV. Ode 4: Who hath given man speech? [19:30]

9. Comedy Overture "The Frogs of Aristophanes" (1935)
An arrangement for brass band of an overture by British composer Granville Bantock (1868-1946). The Comedy Overture is based on the famous play "The Frogs" by the Athenian comic playwright Aristophanes.

Conductor: Peter Parkes
Grimethorpe Colliery RJB Band

10. Elegiac Poem for Cello & Piano (1898/1901)

11. Hamabdil for Cello & Harp (1917)

12. Pagan Poem (1930)
An idyllic piece for flute and piano by British composer Granville Bantock (1868-1946).
Flute: Kenneth Smith
Piano: Paul Rhodes

13. Pibroch for Cello & Harp (1917)
Andrew Fuller, cello
Lucy Wakeford, harp

14. Prelude to "The Bacchanals" (1929, revised 1945)
A concert overture by British composer Granville Bantock (1868-1946).
Conductor: Leon Botstein
American Symphony Orchestra

15. Prometheus Unbound (1933)
A work for brass band by British composer Granville Bantock, an arrangement of the prelude to an earlier work of the same name for chorus and orchestra. The piece is based on the play "Prometheus Unbound" by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Conductor: Geoffrey Brand
Black Dyke Mills Band

16. Salve Regina "Hail Queen of the Heaven", for Violin & Piano (1923)
Lorraine McAslan, violin
Michael Dussek, piano

17. The Vanity of Vanities: Choral Symphony after Ecclesiastes (1913)
I. "Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher" [0:00]
II. "I said in mine heart" [7:32]
III. "Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness" [12:03]
IV. "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" [16:18]
V. "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift" [19:19]
VI. "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart" [23:20]
VII. "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth" [27:28]

Conductor: Simon Joly
BBC Singers

18-19.Old English Suite
The performance is by the Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice) with Adrian Leaper at the helm.

Sir Granville Bantok composed this Suite as a tribute to the "orchestra arrangements of music from the golden age of Queen Elizabeth I and her immediate successor". The Suite was composed in 1909 and is neo-Baroque/neo-Classical in feel but influenced enough by Bantock to feel inventively new.
Bantock composed each piece based upon a specific piece by a composer and that was that. But more than just a re-orchestration or a transcription, he created a new piece with the theme from the originals held strongly within.

20-21. "Russian Scenes" was compsed in 1899 as a companion to a suite of English Scenes.
The performance is by the Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosice led by Adrian Leaper.

22. The Sea Reivers; a Hebridean Sea-Poem (1917)
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Hadley

The Sea Reivers is a concise, vigorous scherzo based on a "A Hebridean Sea-Reiver Song" (Na reubairean). This had also appeared in the Kennedy-Fraser collection, and expresses the wild exultation and daring exploits of the Hebridean pirates. At first only hinted at, the song soon appears in its entirety in tumultuous and vivid orchestral colours. According to "Grove V", the Sea Reivers was originally intended as the scherzo section of the "Hebridean Symphony". Although no mention is made of this in the composer's programme notes for the first performance, it would seem very likely as the work is unusually brief for Bantock.

23-24. Sir Granville Bantock Celtic Symphony for Strings & Six Harps

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, 11 October 2011
Performed by City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
Chief Conductor: Jean Thorel
Harpists: Skaila Kanga, Claire Jones, Kateřina Englichová, Teresa Suen, Michelle Abbott and Edith Pun

The Art of Sir Granville Bantock (playlist 2)

Sir Granville Bantock
 Sir Granville Bantock
"Sappho" Prelude and nine fragments for mezzo-soprano
and orchestra by Granville Bantock
Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vernon Handley, conductor

1. "Bridal Song"
O fair, O lovely! As the sweet apple
blushes on the end of the bough,
By the gatherers overlook'd,
Nay, but reach'd not till now.
The bride comes rejoicing,
let the bridegroom rejoice.
No other, O bridegroom, like to her
O fair, O lovely!

Raise high the roof beam, Hymenaeus!
Like Ares comes the bridegroom, Hymenaeus!
Tow'ring as the Lesbian singer
'mong men of other lands,
Happy bridegroom, now is thy wedding come.
And thou hast the maiden of thy heart's desire.

Bride, teeming with rosy loves,
Fair as the Goddess of Paphos,
Softly sporting, sweet to the bridegroom
May Hesperus lead thee rejoicing,
Honouring Hera of the silver throne.
Hail, bride; hail, noble bridegroom; all hail!
O fair, O lovely!

2. "Evening Song"
thou bringest all that bright morning scattered,
the tender lamb to the ewe,
the babe to its mother;
Then Hesperus shines, of all stars the fairest,
Around the cool breeze
wanders through apple boughs,
And slumber streams from quivering leaves,
While sweeter far than harp,
than gold more golden,
Singeth Spring's messenger
the sweet-voiced nightingale.

3. "Hymn to Aphrodite"
Daughter of Zeus,
Immortal Aphrodite,
Queen of the broidered throne,
distress'd I pray thee,
Weaver of wiles,
break not my heart with anguish,
O Goddess, hear me!

Now hither come, as once before thou camest,
Hearing my voice afar, and lean to listen;
Camest with golden chariot, leaving swiftly
Thy father's dwelling.

Beautiful, fleet thy sparrows drew thee hither,
Round the dark earth
from heaven's height descending,
Whirled they with wings
through deeps of middle aether,
Fluttering came they.

Then thou, blest once, with lips immortal smiling,
Didst ask -
"Why weepest thou? What is befallen?
Whom wouldst thy heart and beauty
draw to love thee?
Who wrongs thee, Sappho?

"She who spurns gifts shall give;
who flies shall follow;
If she loves not, unwilling soon shall love thee."
Ah, come, from care release, fulfil my yearning;
Help, I beseech thee.

Daughter of Zeus,
Immortal Aphrodite,
Queen of the broidered throne,
distress'd I pray thee,
Weaver of wiles,
break not my heart with anguish,
O Goddess, hear me!

4. "I loved thee once, Atthis, long ago"
I loved thee once, Atthis, long ago.
Thou loved'st another more than me,
Scornful wert thou, none like to thee.

Me thou forgettest -
As thou wilt -
Thou art nought to me.

I loved thee once, Atthis, long ago.

In the hereafter shall I be remembered,
But thou shalt die, nor live in memory,
For thou didst not gather the roses of Pieria;
Alone and obscure thou shalt wander,
Even in the house of Hades,
Flitting among the shadowy dead.

I loved thee once, Atthis, long ago.

5. "Muse of the golden throne"
Muse of the golden throne, O raise that strain,
Which once thou used to sweetly sing:
Come, Cyprian Goddess, and in cups of gold
Pour forth thy nectar of delight,
Thou and thy servant, Love!

Come, rosy-armed, pure Graces,
sweet-voiced maidens, come
With winged feet, dance round the altar fair,
Trampling the fine soft bloom of the grass.

Hither now, Muses, hither, come!

6. "Peer of gods he seems"
Peer of gods he seems, who sits in thy presence,
Hearing close thy sweet speech
and lovely laughter,
I beholding, all the life in my bosom
Fluttering, fails me.

For to see thee only, yea, but a little,
Breaks my voice, my faltering soul is silent,
Swiftly through all my veins a subtle fire runs,
All my life trembles.

Sight have I none, nor hearing,
cold dew bathes me,
Paler than grass I am, and in my madness
Seem as one dead, yet dare I, poor and suppliant,
Dare I to love thee.

7. "Stand face to face, friend"
Stand face to face, friend...
and unveil the grace in thine eyes,
All care let buffetting winds bear away;
For in the golden house of the singer
the voice of lamentation may not be.

Then come, O lyre divine,
for me thine echoes awaken,
So all night long,
when sleep holds the eyes of the weary,
Before the feet of Love
may I set my tireless singing.

Ah! delicate Love,
More precious than gold,
Sweeter than honey,
Softer than rose-leaves,
Beautiful Love!

Thou hast the sun's glory and splendour,
Hungry time can never devour thee:
Thou burnest us, thou bitter sweet,
with a swift, with a subtle fire -

We are broken by longing
At soft Aphrodite's will,
Let us drain a thousand cups of Love,
O my sweet, O my tender one.

Ah! a hue as honey pale o'erspreads thy cheek,
Pale are thy lips and thy beautiful eyelids,
As stars fade, when the lovely moon
Lights up all earth with silver,
So there is none other whereunto I may liken thee.

8. "The moon has set"
The moon has set, and the Pleiades;
It is midnight; time is going by,
And I sleep alone.
I yearn and seek -
I know not what to do -
And I flutter like a child after her mother,
For Love masters my limbs, and shakes me,
Fatal creature, bitter-sweet -
Yea, Eros shakes my soul,
A wind on the mountain falling on the oaks.

Alas! I shall be ever maiden;
Neither honey nor bee for me.

More of Granville Bantock
Lorraine McAslan: Granville Bantock 2 Violin Sonatas and Coronach Meditation
Andrew Fuller: Granville Bantock 3 Cello Sonatas
Adrian Leaper: Granville Bantock A Hebridean Symphony
Vernon Handley: Granville Bantock The Cyprian Goddess, Royal Philharmonic
Vernon Handley: Granville Bantock Celtic Symphony for 6 Harps and Strings
Oscar Natzka sings Granville Bantock Captain Harry Morgan