Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Classical Music of Ireland: Granville Bantock

So far this month, Clef Notes has looked at Irish composers in light of St. Patrick’s Day. For the remainder of this month, let’s switch gears a bit and look at composers who were not born in Ireland, but found inspiration in Irish/Celtic themes.

Granville Bantock (1868–1946) was born in London and raised by a father who did not support young Bantock’s desire to make music his profession. Despite this, Bantock went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music, learning composition from the famous Sir Frederick Corder. In addition to composition, Bantock became a prominent conductor and educator.  

Granville Bantock: Courtesy of wikimedia.org

In addition to finding influence in the work of Liszt and Wagner, Bantock also drew from Irish and Celtic sources in some of his music. One example is his Celtic Symphony. The one-movement work is based on Hebridean folksongs and calls for at least six harps! Listen to this magnificent work below:

Join me next time as we look at another English composer who drew from Irish sources, Frank Bridge.

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