Hyperion Records

Sapphic Poem
composer
1906

Recordings
'Bantock: Orchestral Music' (CDS44281/6)
Bantock: Orchestral Music
Buy by post £33.00 CDS44281/6  6CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Bantock: Sappho & Sapphic Poem' (CDA66899)
Bantock: Sappho & Sapphic Poem
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66899  Archive Service; also available on CDS44281/6  
Details
Track 11 on CDA66899 [14'57] Archive Service; also available on CDS44281/6
Track 11 on CDS44281/6 CD4 [14'57] 6CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Sapphic Poem
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Bantock’s Sapphic Poem was first written with piano accompaniment and premiered at London’s Bechstein Hall (later to become Wigmore Hall) by its dedicatee Willy Lehmann on 27 June 1906. It is one of a number of short works for cello by Bantock; the others are the Elegiac Poem (1898, orchestrated in 1899), the Celtic Poem (1916), Pibroch (with harp accompaniment, 1917), Hamabdil (1919), Salve Regina (1924), the Fantastic Poem (1925), and the Dramatic Poem (1941).

Published with accompaniment for piano in 1908 and for orchestra in 1909, the Sapphic Poem is notable for its delicate and romantic orchestration: double wind (only one oboe), two horns, one trumpet, triangle and strings, but no heavy brass, and, surprisingly, no harp. This allows the cello to sound clearly through the texture but nevertheless gives Bantock’s romanticism every chance to express itself. H O Anderton, who as well as being the author of the first full-length book on the composer was also Bantock’s general factotum and a composer and poet himself (and so well-placed to know what was intended in the music), wrote that the music is ‘full of the erotic sentiment of the Sappho songs and almost the whole is founded upon the motto phrase with which the Poem opens’. After rising to a big climax about half way through, followed by a brief cadenza for the soloist and a second climactic passage, the music gradually dies away as languorous, voluptuous tendrils of melody entice us to hope that Bantock’s exotic and scented picture will not fade.

The music is prefaced by a short quotation from Sappho: ‘and this I feel in myself’, the fifteenth fragment in Wharton’s translation.

from notes by Lewis Foreman © 1997

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDS44281/6 disc 4 track 11
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-97-89911
Duration
14'57
Recording date
10 January 1997
Recording venue
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Bantock: Sappho & Sapphic Poem (CDA66899)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: September 1997
    Deletion date: June 2011
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44281/6
  2. Bantock: Orchestral Music (CDS44281/6)
    Disc 4 Track 11
    Release date: October 2007
    6CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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