Bantock: Orchestral Music (6CD)

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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley


Gramophone Magazine

"Magnificently recorded and performed. When audiences are crying out for 'melodious music' how can such music as this have been ignored for so long?"

Penguin Guide

"Handley is a dedicated advocate and the standard of performances and recordings in this box is very high indeed."

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  • Bantock: Celtic Symphony for string orchestra and six harps
  • Bantock: The Witch of Atlas Tone Poem for Orchestra No. 5
  • Bantock: The Sea Reivers Hebridean Sea Poem No. 2
  • Bantock: A Hebridean Symphony
  • Bantock: PAGAN SYMPHONY 'Et ego in Arcadio vixi'
  • Bantock: Fifine at the Fair - A Defence of Inconstancy
  • Bantock: HELENA
  • Bantock: Sappho
  • Bantock: Sapphic Poem
  • Bantock: Prelude to 'The Song of Songs'
  • Bantock: Prelude to 'Omar Khayyám'
  • Bantock: Camel Caravan from 'Omar Khayyám' *
  • Bantock: Caristiona (No 1 of 'Two Hebridean Sea Poems')
  • Bantock: Processional (No 1 of 'Two Orchestral Scenes')
  • Bantock: Thalaba the Destroyer
  • Bantock: Overture to a Greek Tragedy
  • Bantock: The Wilderness and the Solitary Place
  • Bantock: Pierrot of the Minute
  • Bantock: The Song of Songs (excerpts)

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The Classical Music Collector

"Today we have comic superheroes, but in the 1910s they had …Sir Granville Bantock? He studied for the Indian Civil Service, then chemical engineering, before moving on to music and winning every composition prize in his path. His musical style became established in the very early 20th century, and he had a fascination with Arabic literature, and Greek literature, and Celtic literature. In fact, he seems to have absorbed virtually everything that crossed his path. He was given to inventing a piece in an afternoon and spending fifteen years finishing it. His setting of Edward Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayam sets the entire poem, taking almost three hours to perform (there is a recording!), and this is just one of many vast projects he (sometimes) brought to completion. His musical language is Edwardian, a strange amalgam of the tonal world of his British peers and exotic orchestral colours reminiscent of both the Ring and French impressionism, beautiful, but with the very slightest hint of decadence—unsurprisingly, he counted Delius among his friends, but also Elgar and Sibelius, and Havergal Brian. His early enthusiasms were Tchaikovsky and Wagner, and later Richard Strauss, but his music only hints at their influence; on the whole, Bantock is his own person. This box set from Hyperion contains 6 CDs of large- and smaller-scale orchestral works, some with voice, and yet it barely scratches the surface of his amazing prolixity, which extended over a fifty-year career. Nonetheless, the music always sounds considered and carefully achieved …and often alluring. The artworks chosen for the CD slipcases, by Puvis de Chavannes, Gustave Moreau, and others, wryly catch the flavour of the music, not least the box cover, The Cave of the Storm Nymphs by Sir Edward John Poynter. Irresistible." - Chris Dench