Granville Bantock

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Granville Bantock (picture first published 1913) Granville Bantock 1868 - 1946.jpg
Granville Bantock (picture first published 1913)

Sir Granville Ransome Bantock (7 August 1868 16 October 1946) was a British composer of classical music.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period. The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows:

Contents

Biography

Sir Granville Bantock Granville Bantock.jpg
Sir Granville Bantock

Granville Bantock was born in London. His father was an eminent Scottish surgeon. [1] His younger brother was the dramatist and film director Leedham Bantock. Granville Bantock was intended by his parents for the Indian Civil Service [2] but he suffered poor health and initially turned to chemical engineering. At the age of 20, when he began studying composers' manuscripts, at South Kensington Museum Library, he was drawn into the musical world. [1] His first teacher was Dr Gordon Saunders at Trinity College of Music. In 1888 [3] he entered the Royal Academy of Music where he studied harmony and composition with Frederick Corder [4] winning the Macfarren Prize in the first year it was awarded.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Leedham Bantock British screenwriter and actor

Leedham Bantock was a British singer, Edwardian musical comedy actor, early film director, dramatist and screenwriter.

Chemical engineering branch of science that applies physical sciences and life sciences together with applied mathematics and economics to produce, transform, transport, and properly use chemicals, materials and energy

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that uses principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and economics to efficiently use, produce, transform, and transport chemicals, materials, and energy. A chemical engineer designs large-scale processes that convert chemicals, raw materials, living cells, microorganisms, and energy into useful forms and products.

Birmingham University BirminghamUniversityChancellorsCourt.jpg
Birmingham University
University of Birmingham - blue plaque University of Birmingham - Bramall Music Building - blue plaques group - Bantock.jpg
University of Birmingham - blue plaque

Early conducting engagements took him around the world with a musical comedy troupe. With his brother Leedham Bantock he wrote a couple of music hall songs which met with some success. [5] He founded a music magazine, The New Quarterly Music Review, [2] but this lasted only a few years. In 1897, he became conductor at the New Brighton Tower concerts, [2] where he promoted the works of Joseph Holbrooke, Frederic Hymen Cowen, Charles Steggall, Edward German, Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford, Corder and others, frequently devoting whole concerts to a single composer. He was also conductor of the Liverpool Orchestral Society with which he premiered Delius's Brigg Fair on 18 January 1908. He became the principal of the Birmingham and Midland Institute school of music in 1900. [2] He was a close friend of fellow composer Havergal Brian. He was Peyton Professor of Music at the University of Birmingham from 1908 to 1934 (in which post he succeeded Sir Edward Elgar). [2] [6] In 1934, he was elected Chairman of the Corporation of Trinity College of Music in London. He was knighted in 1930. [2] His students included the conductor and composer Anthony Bernard and the composer Eric Fogg. In 1898 he married Helena von Schweitzer (1868-1961) who acted as a librettist for him.

Music hall Type of British theatrical entertainment popular between 1850 and 1960

Music hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment that was popular from the early Victorian era, beginning around 1850. It ended, arguably, after the First World War, when the halls rebranded their entertainment as Variety. Perceptions of a distinction in Britain between bold and scandalous Victorian Music Hall and subsequent, more respectable Variety differ. Music hall involved a mixture of popular songs, comedy, speciality acts, and variety entertainment. The term is derived from a type of theatre or venue in which such entertainment took place. American vaudeville was in some ways analogous to British music hall, featuring rousing songs and comic acts.

New Brighton Tower architectural structure

New Brighton Tower was a steel lattice observation tower at New Brighton in the town of Wallasey, Cheshire, England. It stood 567 feet (173 m) high, and was the tallest building in Great Britain when it opened some time between 1898 and 1900. Neglected during the First World War and requiring renovation the owners could not afford, dismantling of the tower began in 1919, and the metal was sold for scrap. The building at its base, housing the Tower Ballroom, continued in use until damaged by fire in 1969.

Joseph Holbrooke English composer, conductor, and pianist

Joseph Charles Holbrooke was an English composer, conductor, and pianist.

He was influential in the founding of the City of Birmingham orchestra (later the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), whose first performance in September 1920 was of his overture Saul. Bantock's Hebridean Symphony was recorded by the CBO on 28 January 1925 at Riley Hall, Constitution Hill, Birmingham. This acoustic version, conducted by Adrian Boult, was never released.

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra orchestra based in Birmingham, England

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is a British orchestra based in Birmingham, England. It is the resident orchestra at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, which has been its principal performance venue since 1991. Its administrative and rehearsal base is at the nearby CBSO Centre, where it also presents chamber concerts by members of the orchestra and guest performers.

Adrian Boult English conductor

Sir Adrian Cedric Boult, CH was an English conductor. Brought up in a prosperous mercantile family, he followed musical studies in England and at Leipzig, Germany, with early conducting work in London for the Royal Opera House and Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company. His first prominent post was conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra in 1924. When the British Broadcasting Corporation appointed him director of music in 1930, he established the BBC Symphony Orchestra and became its chief conductor. The orchestra set standards of excellence that were rivalled in Britain only by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), founded two years later.

His music was influenced by folk song of the Hebrides (as in his 1915 Hebridean Symphony) and the works of Richard Wagner. Many of his works have an "exotic" element, including the choral epic Omar Khayyám (190609). [7] Among his other better-known works are the overture The Pierrot of the Minute (1908) and the Pagan Symphony (1928). Many of his works have been commercially recorded since the early 1990s.

Hebrides archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland

The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

Richard Wagner German composer

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Exoticism

Exoticism is a trend in European art and design, whereby artists became fascinated with ideas and styles from distant regions, and drew inspiration from them. This often involved surrounding foreign cultures with mystique and fantasy which owed more to European culture than to the exotic cultures themselves: this process of glamorisation and stereotyping is called 'exoticization'.

Shortly after the composer's death in London, in 1946, a Bantock Society was established. Its first president was Jean Sibelius, whose music Bantock championed during the early years of the century. Sibelius dedicated his Third Symphony to Bantock.

Jean Sibelius Finnish composer of the late Romantic period

Jean Sibelius, born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.

Symphony No. 3 (Sibelius) symphony by Jean Sibelius

The Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52, by Jean Sibelius is a symphony in three movements composed in 1907. Coming between the romantic intensity of Sibelius's first two symphonies and the more austere complexity of his later symphonies, it is a good-natured, triumphal, and deceptively simple-sounding piece. The symphony's first performance was given by the Helsinki Philharmonic Society, conducted by the composer, on 25 September 1907. In the same concert, his suite from the incidental music to Belshazzar's Feast, Op. 51, was also performed for the first time.

Edward Elgar dedicated the second of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to Bantock.

Granville Bantock is the father-in-law of the composer Margaret More (1903-1966) via her marriage to Granville's son, Raymond Bantock.

Bibliography

Three books have been published on Granville Bantock. The first was authored by his long-time (and long suffering) friend and 'secretary', 'Colonel' H. O. Anderton for the Living Masters of Music series in 1915. It is a very dry but useful book. The second is a 'personal portrait' by Bantock's daughter, published by Dent in 1972. It is an engaging read and contains a number of photographs. The third, An Introduction to the Life and Work of Sir Granville Bantock by Vincent Budd, was published in 2000, by Gnosis Press. It is also illustrated and contains a discographical guide. A larger volume is in progress.

The Bantock Society published a Journal between 1996 and 1999 and its issues contain a number of useful articles on the composer. There are also numerous other published pieces scattered in various magazines and journals. A Doctoral thesis by Trevor Bray, written in 1972, is very useful as a record of Bantock's musical output. A collection of the composer's letters to Muriel Mann, with whom he had an affair between 1936 and 1940, was published in May 2013 by her granddaughter Katherine de Marne Werner, with the title "My Dear Rogue". [8] This contains prefaces by two of GB's grandchildren and a long Afterword by Vincent Budd which helps to put these letters in to historical perspective and includes previously unpublished material.

Discography

A broad selection of Bantock's orchestral output, including all the symphonies, has been recorded in an edition by the Hyperion label in performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley, now available also as a box set. Handley also recorded a largely complete performance of Omar Khayyám with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on the Chandos label. However, the only complete recording is available on the Lyrita Recorded Edition label. An alternative recording of the Hebridean Symphony (together with the Old English Suite and Russian Scenes) is available on the Naxos label, with the Czechoslovak Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice) conducted by Adrian Leaper. Historic recordings of miniatures and songs have appeared on the Dutton label. The Cameo Classics label has re-issued its Granville Bantock recordings made with conductor Geoffrey Heald-Smith from 1978 to 1982 on a double CD set, which includes the Hebridean Symphony (in the presence of Raymond Bantock), the Pagan Symphony and Witch of Atlas (the first digital recordings), and the Sapphic Poem (solo cello, Gillian Thoday).

Selected works

Operas

Choral works

Choral unaccompanied works

For male voice

For solo voice and orchestra

Symphonies

Concertos

Tone poems

Other orchestral works

Works for brass band

Incidental music

Chamber music

Piano music

Songs

A selective list of his compositions is to be found in Grove 5.

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References

  1. 1 2 Hadden, J. Cuthbert, 1913, Modern Musicians, Boston: Le Roy Phillips; London & Edinburgh: T. N. Foulis, pp.42-46
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Anderson, Keith (2001). Granville Bantock (1868-1946): Old English Suite; Russian Scenes; Hebridean Symphony (slevenotes), Naxos. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  3. Modern Musicians by J. Cuthbert Hadden (First published by T.N.Foulis in 1913) - Granville Bantock p42 (September 1918 Foulis Reprint)
  4. Budd, Vincent (2004, rev 2009). Bantock, Sir Granville Ransome (1868–1946). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  5. Vincent Budd, 'A Brief Introduction to the Life and Work of Sir Granville Bantock' - The Bantock Society
  6. A Reason for Resignation. The University of Birmingham Newsletter, Issue 21 Vol 2 February 2003. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  7. Foreman, Lewis (2007), Bantock: Omar Khayyám Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine (PDF), Chandos Records. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  8. Katherine de Marne Werner (ed.), 2013, My Dear Rogue, Sir Granville Bantock's Secret Romance That Influenced the Music of One of Britain's Greatest 20th Century Composers, Distinction Press, ISBN   1-937-6671-03
  9. Foreman, Lewis (2003). Sir Granville Bantock (1868-1946) The Song of Songs (sleeve notes). Hyperion Records. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  10. "Rediscover Bantock with first recordings of 'hidden' music - Trinity Laban". Trinitylaban.ac.uk. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  11. "A feast of lanterns [music]". Nla.gov.au. Retrieved 16 February 2019.