Bantock, Sir Granville (Ransome)

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Bantock, Sir Granville (Ransome)

Bantock, Sir Granville (Ransome), eminent English composer and pedagogue; b. London, Aug. 7, 1868; d. there, Oct. 16, 1946. He was a student of Frederick Corder at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1889–93), where he won the first Macfarren Scholarship. From 1893 to 1896 he was the ed. of the New Quarterly Musical Review. In 1894-95 he made a world tour as conductor of the musical comedy The Gaiety Girl. From 1897 to 1900 he was director of music of the Tower Orch. in New Brighton, where he won notice as a conductor of contemporary works. From 1900 to 1914 he was principal of the Birmingham and Midland Inst. School of Music. He served as the Peyton prof. of Music at the Univ. of Birmingham from 1908 to 1934. He subsequently was a teacher and examiner at the Trinity Coll. of Music in London. He was knighted in 1930. Bantock was a prolific composer who often wrote works on a vast scale. Many of his scores were of a programmatic nature, and revealed his fascination for exotic and heroic subjects. An Oriental and Celtic bent was particularly pronounced. His works were brilliantly scored and highly effective in performance, but they are rarely heard today.


DRAMATIC: Aegypt, ballet (1892); Eugene Aram, opera (1892; unfinished); Caedmar, opera (London, Oct. 25, 1892); The Pearl of Iran, opera (1894); The ABC, or Flossie the Frivolous, musical comedy (Wolverhampton, March 21, 1898; in collaboration with others); Sweet Brier, musical comedy-drama (1898); Harlequinade, or Only a Clown, musical play (1899); The Great God Pan, ballet (1915); The Seal-Woman, opera (1917-24; Birmingham, Sept. 27, 1924); also incidental music to plays. ORCH.: The Curse of Kehama (1894); Saul, overture (1897); Elegiac Poem for Cello and Orch. (1898); Helena Variations (1899; Antwerp, Feb. 21, 1900); Russian Scenes (1899); English Scenes (1900); 6 tone poems: No. 1, Thalaba the Destroyer (1900), No. 2, Dante (1901; rev. as Dante and Beatrice, 1910; London, May 24, 1911), No. 3, Tifine at the Fair (1901; Birmingham, Oct. 2, 1912), No. 4, Hudibras (1902), No. 5, The Witch of Atlas (Worcester, Sept. 10, 1902), and No. 6, halla Rookh (1902); Sapphic Poem for Cello and Orch. (1906); The Pierrot of the Minuet, overture (1908); 3 Dramatic Dances (1909); Old English Suite for Small Orch. (1909); Oedipus Coloneus, overture (1911); From the Far West for Strings (1912); From the Scottish Highlands for Strings (1913); 4 syms.: No. 1, Hebridean (1913; Glasgow, Feb. 14, 1916, composer conducting), No. 2, Pagan (1923-28; BBC, London, 1936), No. 3, The Cyprian Goddess: Aphrodite in Cypress (1938–39), and No. 4, Celtic (1940); Celtic Poem for Cello and Orch. (1914); Dramatic Poem for Cello and Orch. (1914); The Land of the Gael for Strings (1915); Coronach for Strings, Harp, and Organ (1918); Hamabdil for Cello and Orch. (1919); Judith (1919); Festival Hymn of Judith (1919); Wachet auf, chorale variations (1920); The Sea Reivers (London, Feb. 21, 1920); Caristiona: Hebridean Seascape (1920); The Frogs, overture (1935); 4 Chinese Landscapes for Small Orch. (1936); Overture to a Greek Comedy (1941); Circus Life, overture (1941); 2 Heroic Ballads: Cuchullin’s Lament and KishmuVs Gallery (1944); Hebridean Poem:The Seagull of the Land Under the Waves (1944); The Bacchae, overture (1945); The Birds, overture (1946); The Funeral (1946). CHAMBER: 2 string quartets (1899, 1933); Serenade for Horns (1903); Pibroch for Cello and Harp (1917); Viola Sonata (1919); Sonata for Solo Cello (1924); Salve regina for String Trio (1924); 3 violin sonatas (1929, 1932, 1940); 2 cello sonatas (1940, 1945); numerous piano pieces. VOCAL: The Fire Worshippers for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1892); Wulstan for Voice and Orch. (1892); The Blessed Damozel for Reciter and Orch. (1892); Thorvenda’s Dream for Reciter and Orch. (1892); Christus for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1901); The Time Spirit for Chorus and Orch. (1902); Mass for Men’s Chorus (1903); Ferishtah’s Fancies for Voice and Orch. (1905); Sappho for Voice and Orch. (1906); Sea Wanderers for Chorus and Orch. (1906); Omar Khayyam for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1906); Atalanta in Calydon, “sym.” for Chorus (1911); Vanity of Vanities, “sym.” for Chorus (1913); A Pageant of Human Life, “sym” for Chorus (1913); Song of Liberty for Chorus and Orch. (1914); Choral Suite from the Chinese for Men’s Chorus (1914); The Song of Songs for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1922; radio broadcast, Dec. 11, 1927); 7 Burdens of Isaiah for Men’s Chorus (1927); The Pilgrim’s Progress for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1928); Prometheus Unbound for Chorus and Orch. (1936); King Solomon for Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1937); The Sphinx for Voice and Orch. (1941); Thomas the Rhymer for Voice and Orch. (1946); numerous other vocal works, including song cycles and solo songs.


H. Anderton, G. B. (London, 1915); M. Bantock, G. B.: A Personal Portrait (London, 1972).

Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire