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Bantock: The Cyprian Goddess

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , Vernon Handley , Sir Granville Bantock Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £15.95
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Bantock: The Cyprian Goddess + Bantock: Pagan Symphony, Fifine at the Fair, Two Heroic Ballads + Bantock: Hebridean & Celtic Symphonies
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Product details

  • Conductor: Vernon Handley
  • Composer: Sir Granville Bantock
  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000002ZWH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,828 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Maestoso E Sforzato - Lentamente - Poco Largamente - Con Piu Moto
2. Liberamente - Affrettando - Tranquillo Molto Sostenuto
3. Animando - Con Fuoco - Con Molto Agitato
4. Lentamente - Leno Sostenuto - Poco Lentando - Allegretto Grazioso - Con Fuoco - Con Anima
5. Piu Moto, Affrettando - Tranquillo, E Molto Sostenuto
6. Theme: Lento Molto
7. Bariation I: Allegro Molto Con Fuoco
8. Variation II: Poco Tranquillo
9. Variation III: Allegretto Scherzando
10. Variation IV: Molto Moderato Quasi Religioso
11. Variation V: Caprixxioso
12. Variation VI: Poco Agitato
13. Variation VII: Lento Molto E Sostenuto
14. Variation VIII: Con Moto Affettusos
15. Variation IX: Allegro Impetusoso
16. Variation X: Non Piu Allegro
17. Variation XI: Andante Doloroso
18. Variation XII Finale: Allegro Appassionato
19. Maestoso - Poco Largamente - Vivo - Lento - Allegro Con Fuoco - Appassionato - Sostenuto Cantabile - Anddante Tranquillo, Poco Rubato

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Bantock must buy... 13 July 2014
By os TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Fans of big lush dynamic orchestral themes will warm to the works of Granville Bantock. The nice people at Hyperion have been championing the works of this most neglected of British composers. Well regarded in his prime, towards the end of his life (he died in 1946) his works were regarded as throw backs to a distant age. Modern listeners with a penchant for the likes of Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius will enjoy the expansive sometimes monumental music that we are presented with on this generously filled, beautifully recorded disc. To hear the tone poem 'Dante and Beatrice' is to experience a musical tumult, passionate, colourful with awesome crescendos followed by moments of reflection and calm. Play loud for full effect!

Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected composer worthy of more attention. 25 Jun 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am very interested in Bantock as I am helping to transcribe his diaries.
Excellent value for money and quite a musical revelation
ML
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bantock's Mediterranean tone poems 17 Oct 2012
By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Granville Bantock was a London-born English composer and conductor whose life bridged the 19th and 20th centuries. The dates of his birth and death (1868-1946) and just over a decade later than those of the much better known Edward Elgar. His music is tuneful and highly melodic and very often dramatic. All of Bantock's music is easy to enjoy on a first hearing and its depth emerges with repeated hearing. We have three lovely tone poems here. The first of these is The Cyprian Goddess, also known as Aphrodite in Cyprus or as the 3rd Symphony. The work is played continuously with sections that are contrasted in tempi and orchestration. The second piece, Helena, was written in 1899, the year after his marriage to Helena von Schweitzer. At just under 20 minutes running time, it is the shortest of he works featured here. It is probably not coincidental that Helen was also one of the great Grecian beauties. The piece is a set of variations on Helena's initials HFB which, in German musical notation, become B natural, F and B flat. The final work on the CD is Dante and Beatrice with the music representing the three Books of The Divine Comedy as well as his relationship with the love of his life. The music is played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bantock's Classical Orchestral Poems 26 Feb 2000
By K. Farrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Granville Bantock was a bearded, cigar toting, larger than life artist who might drop you a line in Latin and who studied Ancient Greek and Persian as an agreeable pastime. He seems pretty remote from our contemporary ideas of the creative aesthete. With his smoking jacket on, no doubt wearing a cap complete with tassle, he composed massive pieces like these three offerings on this magnificent CD in his Morris wallpapered Victorian study. The Cyprian Goddess or Symphony No 3 was inspired by at least two sources relating to the same subject: some Latin verse Odes of Horace referring to Aphrodite and the sculpture of the Venus de Milo in the Louvre; thus he was thinking of both Greek and Latin versions of the goddess of love, born on the beautiful island of Cyprus. One wonders if Horace's request for Aphrodite to 'quit the favoured Cyprus and come' somehow echoed with Bantock's own love of the exotic and the consequent conflict this must have had with his daily life in his more prosaic homeland. The Helena Variations are a fascinating set of variations, as inventive as Elgar's 'Enigma' Variations in their way, in which his skill as an orchestral craftsman are displayed to the full. Dante and Beatrice is a tone poem covering much of the same ideas as Liszt's Dante Symphony. Using a rich Richard Strauss size orchestra (but never his technique!), Bantock paints a huge canvas, to my mind bringing the Lisztian tone poem to its fullest and most eloquent flowering. In order to do this, Bantock is secure in all departments, form, balance and restraint, the classical characteristics which mark him as different to the more self-absorbed romantic, Richard Strauss or the doom laden Mahler. Bantock would never have composed music about his home or sex life nor would he have written a Symphony of a Thousand! He was too practical a musician for that, managing local amateur and semi-professional ensembles in the depths of the north of England. No gesamskunstwerk for him. The orchestral effects throughout are delightful, the melodic invention everflowing and Handley, here on his best form, doesn't overplay the dynamics of tempo or crescendi or diminuendi. He unwraps a rich tapestry that shows how an English composer could produce work that was as good, if not better than the more feted continentals. Wonderful stuff!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lush Romantism At Its Best! 18 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The music is a cross between Romantism and strangly enough, Film music. It has a full orchestral score with sweeps of dramatic lyricism and pathos. It definitely has the feel of Strauss texturing but has the effect of listening to something written for a film, either Williams or Horner. I am surprised this music has not gained wider acceptance. Also, the playing by the Royal Philharmonic is on par with any orchestra. The recording is crisp and detailed. I have the first three of the Handley/RPO Bantock pairings and consider them a worthy investment. Horn players will definitely want to get their hands on these!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Masterpieces 16 Jan 2002
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Third Symphony of Granville Bantock is titled The Cyprian Goddess (subtitled Aphrodite in Cyprus) and was written during a voyage in the Pacific in the late 1930s. As the title indicates, Bantock celebrates Aphrodite/Venus in this work and quotes from ancient poets figure in the score, including Horace, Bion and Theocritus. The music is evocative of the sea and casts a look back to the world when Aphrodite was more than just a mythical figure. Like the Pagan Symphony, Bantock presents a picture of the ancient world and its mysteries. The symphony describes a heroic and dreamy world ending quietly, with a sunset. Being someone who is deeply interested in the ancient world, I find Bantock's vision appealing.
The other works on this disc are a series of variations based on a theme derived from the initials of his wife, Helen and Dante and Beatrice, a tone poem. Dante and Beatrice is a psychological study of Dante life blending facts with literature. Dante meets Beatrice, is forced to leave Florence, has visions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven and meets his own death.
Altogether, this is a disc that demonstrates Bantock's gift for creating beautiful melodies and orchestration. The booklet is filled with a wealth information about the composer and the works recorded.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY DISTINCTIVE ENGLISH MUSIC 26 Aug 2010
By K.J. McGilp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sir Granville Bantock was a much respected and popular composer in his day. Indeed, in Edward Elgar's opinion, Bantock had "the most fertile musical brain of our time". Sibelius dedicated his Third Symphony to him. Rich and gloriously tonal music flowed from his pen. Music of great color and variety. Though Sir Granville's works are seldom played in concert halls these days, recordings like this one prove that Elgar knew what he was talking about.
Opening with brass fanfares, The Cyprian Goddess evokes exotic scenes of the gods and the sea. Bantock called it his symphony #3 and subtitled it "Aphrodite in Cyprus". The scoring makes marvelous use of the large orchestral forces required to play it. Richard Strauss, Wagner, Rimsky Korsakov and Vaughan Williams all come to mind when hearing this music.
The Helena Variations are dedicated to Bantocks wife, Helena Von Schweitzer. They were wed in October 1899 and the variations debuted in Liverpool in 1900. Elgar's Enigma Variations were the primary influence for this engaging work that was inspired by Helena's many emotions.
Dante and Beatrice is a poem for orchestra. It is a taut, dramatic gem of a piece. Dark colors reveal purgatory and hell. Stormy passages express struggle and death. Serene and calm lento and sostenuto cantabile sections create moments of reverie. The music becomes darker again and then ends with an andante traquillo, poco rubato. The music is powerful, beautiful, tragic and romantic. Tchaikovsky's The Tempest comes to mind when hearing this piece and a section or two sounds a bit like Mahler. I suppose a Liszt reference would be too obvious! All influences aside, this is very impressive English music. Sir Granville's masterful orchestrations insure a personal style that one could only call "Bantockian".
The sound quality, booklet notes and artwork are outstanding. The Royal Philharmonic plays gloriously for Vernon Handley. A tireless advocate for lesser known British music, Maestro Handley passed away in September 2008. "Tod", as he was affectionately known, will be undoubtedly missed.
Further listening: Fifine at the Fair, Pagan Symphony, Celtic Symphony, Hebridean Symphony, Sappho, The Song of Songs and much more!
Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Enjoy the music!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous music in superb performances 26 Sep 2009
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is, simply, another wonderful installment in Hyperion's series of orchestral music by Granville Bantock with the RPO under Vernon Handley. And as with the other issues, the performances here are beyond reproach, fully realizing the luxurious textures and sweep of the music. Bantock was a superb orchestrator - so to fully appreciate his work one needs performances in this league - but he was also a master of form and technique and the cleverness (not in a negative sense), skill and level of invention when it comes to development of (memorable) themes in large-scale structures is truly admirable. This is music of intoxicating lushness and magic, and not for a minute does it fail to grab one's attention.

The Cyprian Goddess is perhaps the most obscure of his symphonies, and it might perhaps not reach the level of magic of the others; it is still a marvelous work, though, with a richness and opulence somewhat reminiscent of Richard Strauss moving toward a magnificently atmospheric, other-worldly conclusion. The Helena Variations might be lighter music; relaxed and sunnily atmospheric in the manner of French romantic composers such as Massenent. It is an enchanting work, although not a very profound one. Dante and Beatrice sounds, in a sense, like a companion piece to the perhaps more famous Fifine at the fair (featured on another disc in the series), but it is hardly inferior. This is a dramatic work, unsurprisingly, and more shadowy and menacing than Fifine, but one where one has to marvel at Bantock's inventiveness in winding his themes through twists and turns and back on themselves; highly ornamented music, then, and, as always, superbly scored. Overall then, this disc is as satisfying as the others in the series (even though it doesn't include any indisputable masterpiece such as the Hebridean or Celtic symphonies, or the orchestral song cycle Sappho), and is recommended with enthusiasm.
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