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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.
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 (1906–09). Among his other better-known works are the overtureThe Pierrot of the Minute (1908) and the Pagan Symphony (1928). Many of his works have been commercially recorded since the early 1990s.
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.
Granville Bantock is the father-in-law of the composer Margaret More (1903-1966) via her marriage to Granville's son, Raymond Bantock.
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". 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.
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 Orchestraand 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).
The Pearl of Iran, a romantic opera (1894, one act, libretto by composer)
Caedmar, a Romantic Opera (1892, one act, libretto by Frederick Corder, performed at the Royal Academy of Music, 12 July 1892, and then at Crystal Palace, 18 October 1892 and the Olympic Theatre, 25 October 1892)
The Seal Woman, a Celtic Folk Opera (libretto by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser who also appeared in the performance as an old crone, utilising melodies drawn from Kennedy-Fraser's collection of Hebridean folk songs, conducted by the composer, Birmingham Repertory Company, 27 September 1924, produced by Barry Jackson)
Eugene Aram (opera in four acts, unfinished, libretto based on Bulwer Lytton and Thomas Hood, performed as a recitation in 1892)
The Fire Worshippers, dramatic cantata for solo voices chorus and orchestra (1892, after Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh, prelude conducted by August Manns at the Crystal Palace)
Christus, a Festival Symphony in ten parts for solo voices chorus and orchestra (only two parts completed: "Christ in the Wilderness" - Gloucester Festival 1907; and "Gethsemane")
The Time Spirit, rhapsody for chorus and orchestra (text H.F.B. i.e. Helena F. Bantock, dedicated to Herbert Brewer);
Sea Wanderers, poem for chorus and orchestra (text H.F.B. i.e. Helena F. Bantock)
Omar Kháyyám for solo voices chorus and orchestra - Part I (Birmingham Festival, 1906), Part II (Cardiff Festival 1907), Part III (Birmingham Festival 1909, BBCSO/Del Mar, 27 November 1968, first broadcast performance); complete (based on the third version of Fitzgerald's adaptation, London Choral Society/Arthur Fagge, Queen's Hall, February 1910; Vienna, February, 1912, BBC Symphony Orchestra under Norman Del Mar, 5-6 January 1979)
The Song of Liberty for solo voices, chorus and orchestra (1914, for the 21st Festival of the International Labour Party, Bradford)
The Great God Pan, a Choral Ballet for solo voices, chorus and orchestra (Sheffield Festival 1920)
The Song of Songs for soloists, double chorus and orchestra (started in 1912 completed 1922; text: Book of Solomon, Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester, 1922, then Dorothy Silk, Frank Mullings, Norman Allin, Hallé, composer, 10 March 1927)
The Burden of Babylon for chorus, brass and drums (1927, text: Bible)
The Pilgrim's Progress for solo voices, chorus and orchestra (1928, BBC commission, Queen's Hall, BBC Orchestra and Choral Society / composer, 1928-29 season, 23 November 1928; this was the first appearance for the Choral Society)
Prometheus Unbound for chorus and orchestra (1936, text by Shelley)
Five Ghazals of Hafiz with a Prelude - baritone (1905, Hafiz translated E. Arnold, BBCSO/Clarence Raybould, 15 December 1937)
Ferishtah's Fancies - tenor (1905, Robert Browning, renowned interpretation came from Frank Mullings)
Sappho, nine fragments with a Prelude (1906, Sappho translated by Helena F. Bantock, the Prelude and three of the songs were sung by Edith Clegg with the composer conducting at an RPS concert in 1911-12, first appearances with the Society for both the composer and the singer)
Pagan Chants - tenor (1917-18, Thorley);
The Vale of Arden (1919, Alfred Hayes)
The March - tenor (1919, J. C. Squire)
The Sphinx, a cycle - baritone or contralto (1941, Oscar Wilde)
Tone Poem No. 2, Dante and Beatrice (1901, revised 1910, Scottish Orchestra/composer, Glasgow, 24 May 1911, revised version of Dante, London Musical Festival, 1911)
Tone Poem No. 3, later dubbed Orchestral Drama: Fifine at the Fair (1901, after Browning's Pippa Passes, Birmingham Festival, 1912, conducted by the composer, then Eighth Balfour Gardiner Concert, Queen's Hall, first performance in London, New SO/Gardiner, 18 March 1913; this was to have been given at an RPS concert in the 1911-12 season but was cancelled due to a dispute over fees. Fifine was finally given by the Society on 26 November 1917 conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham). A classic recording of Fifine was made by Beecham conducting the RPO for EMI in 1947. This recording was made under the auspices of the British Council and the Bantock Society
Tone Poem No. 6, Lalla Rookh (1902, after Thomas Moore, dedicated to Joseph Holbrooke)
Other orchestral works
Two Orchestral Scenes from The Curse of Kehama: (1) Processional, (2) Jaga-Naut (1894, after Robert Southey, Philharmonic Society concert, 1897. The Two Scenes are all that was achieved of a project to complete a cycle of 24 tone poems based on Southey's poem)
Symphonic Overture with organ, Saul (1894, Chester Cathedral, 1897)
Russian Scenes, Suite of five pieces for small orchestra (1899)
Helena: Orchestral Variations on the Theme HFB (The Helena Variations) (1899, dedicated to Helena F. Bantock. "Thoughts and reflections on some of your moods written during a wearisome absence.", Liverpool Orchestral Society, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool)
English Scenes, Suite of five pieces for small orchestra (1900)
Comedy Overture, Pierrot of the Minute (1908, after Ernest Dowson)
^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, ISBN1-937-6671-03
Sir Granville Bantock a new (2017) website (replacing the Bantock Society website which no longer exists). Aims to link to musical sources, published music and recordings and concert performances of works by Sir Granville Bantock.