Somm Recordings is proud to announce a landmark recording for lovers of British music featuring 23 first recordings of piano pieces by Sir Granville Bantock, one of the most influential British composers of his age. Performed by Maria Marchant, Bantock Rediscovered is being issued to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Bantock’s birth in 1868. This is a major release supported by a full-page advert in Gramophone magazine and is sure to attract considerable attention for its treasure-trove of music newly rescued from neglect and the new light it sheds on a revered composer.
Composed between 1894 and 1938, these immensely varied, beautifully crafted works – never before heard on disc – illustrate fascinating aspects of Bantock’s artistry and music. The carefully chosen, exquisitely played programme reveals the breadth, delicacy and deliberateness of what Robert Matthew-Walker describes in his booklet notes as Bantock’s “always clever structuring and drily eloquent style”. Among the gems to be discovered here are Memories of Sapphire, three beautiful lyrical tone poems recalling a visit to North Carolina and dedicated to the composer’s mother; the richly impressionistic Barcarolle showing Bantock’s piano writing at its finest; the late, lively Parade March and the striking piano transcription of the symphonic overture Saul, with its early hints of the orientalism that would later prove so significant to Bantock’s music. Demonstrating Bantock’s deft ability to borrow from traditional music, the Two Scottish Pieces offer up a vivacious quickstep and reel. Heard in their entirety, the Twelve Piano Pieces carry themselves with a ‘light music’ gloss but reveal deeper feelings and more sophisticated meaning in the hands of a master composer. Maria Marchant’s previous disc for SOMM Recordings was the much-admired Echoes of Land & Sea, featuring piano music by Britten, Holst, Ireland and Roderick Williams.
On This Recording
- Chanson de Mai (May Song)
- Memories of Sapphire – I. Largamente espressivo
- II. Lento cantabile
- III. Allegretto delicato
- Cloisters at Midnight
- Parade March
- Two Scottish Pieces: The Hills of Glenorchy – Quickstep
- The Bobers of Brechin – Reel
- Saul – A Symphonic Overture
- Twelve Piano Pieces: Rhapsode