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Rediscover Bantock with first recordings of ‘hidden’ music

Fri 18 May 2018

Trinity Laban alumnus Maria Marchant celebrates the work of Sir Granville Bantock, a significant figure in the conservatoire’s history, with a new recording marking the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Bantock Rediscovered is an eclectic collection of 23 compositions never before heard on disc, revealing 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”. 

Released by SOMM Recordings on Friday 1 June, Bantock Rediscovered is the second CD from pianist and BBC Music Magazine ‘Rising Star’ Maria Marchant. She will celebrate the launch with a recital at Trinity Laban on Wednesday 6 June, introduced by the composer’s grandson, Cuillin Bantock.

Born in 1868, Bantock became one of the most influential British composers of his age. At 20 he studied with Dr Gordon Saunders at what was then Trinity College of Music, and went on to teach and act as an examiner at the conservatoire for some 50 years. A room at King Charles Court, home to Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music, is named in his honour.

Maria Marchant graduated from Trinity Laban in 2007 with a first class BMus Performance / Composition. She is in much demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. Maria gave her Wigmore and Southbank debuts in 2010 to critical acclaim and now performs regularly in prestigious venues in the UK and internationally. 

Bantock Rediscovered is a treasure-trove of music newly rescued from neglect, which sheds new light on the revered composer. Written between 1894 and 1938, these immensely varied, beautifully crafted works illustrate fascinating aspects of Bantock’s artistry and music.

Among the gems to be discovered are Memories of Sapphire, three beautiful lyrical tone poems that are amongst the most personal music Bantock wrote. They are dedicated to Muriel Mann with whom he had a prolonged liaison whilst staying at the town of Sapphire in North Carolina.  

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. 

Speaking ahead of her performance at Trinity Laban, Maria said –

“I’m delighted to be returning to Trinity Laban to perform a solo piano recital. I attended the Junior Department at Trinity studying with the brilliant Philip Colman before gaining my BMus in Piano Performance with the wonderful professors Alexander Ardakov and Yonty Solomon. 

“The practice facilities, performance opportunities and expert tuition are outstanding – to come back to such an inspiring and creative hub of music that has proved so crucial to my musical development as an artist is really special to me.

“Some of my best memories are performing Ravel’s Left Hand Piano Concerto and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the fantastic Trinity Symphony Orchestra conducted by Diego Masson and Peter Stark. Trinity Laban is the perfect place to perform Granville Bantock as Bantock was associated with Trinity for an incredible 50 years as professor and examiner so it feels like bringing this fascinating, eclectic composer home.”

The CD launch of Bantock Rediscovered is open to all. Join Maria in the Peacock Room, King Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College at 7.30pm on Wednesday 6 June 2018. Email to reserve a seat.

(Image Credits: Pencil drawing of Granville Bantock via Creative Commons. Maria Marchant, photograph by Steven Peskett Photography)