GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): Omar Khayyám (Sarah Walker [contralto], Anthony Rolfe Johnson [tenor], Brian Rayner Cook [baritone], BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Norman Del Mar. Broadcast March 26, 1979 - mono. Only Complete Recording), Fifine at the Fair, The Pierrot of the Minute, Sappho for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (Johanna Peters [contralto], BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Del Mar. Broadcast Aug. 7, 1968 - mono
Catalogue Number: 07S005
Description: Chandos issued a slightly abridged recording of Omar way back in October of 2007 (10J002, where a longer blurb can be accessed) where six of the 101 quatrains of poetry were omitted. This BBC broadcast from 1979 is complete, although the overall timing of the Lyrita is only 1:03 longer. On the other hand, three of the nine fragments of Sappho were not broadcast in this 1968 performance, leaving the 1997 Hyperion recording as the only complete one. Bantock's wife Helen organized the Sappho fragments in their existing English translations, adding verses of her own to provide continuity and ultimately providing a less than true version of ancient Greek lyric but a passionate and intelligent Victorian reading of it. Her husband responded with opulent, exotic fin-de-siècle romanticism of a wholly personal style with a hint here or there of Delius and Grieg. Bantock’s two most-recorded tone poems make up the rest of this very inexpensive archival treasure chest. 4 CDs. Texts included.