Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
This first recording of Bantock's Sappho, written in 1906, reveals it to be a gorgeous song cycle of almost an hour's duration. The 'fragments' are all that remain of the work of the Greek poetess Sappho who lived c700BC, and Bantock has given her erotic and beautiful poetry a luscious late-romantic score for a vast orchestra. The piece is ravishingly sung by Susan Bickley.
The fifteen-minute Sapphic Poem, also written in 1906, is for cello and orchestra. Julian Lloyd Webber was given special permission to record it for us by Polygram, to whom he is exclusively contracted and to whom we are grateful.
This is our fourth Bantock CD. Like all the others, which have received ecstatic praise from press and public alike, it was recorded by Tony Faulkner. The sound is resplendent.
All of the music on this album is also available as part of the specially priced box set: ‘What an achievement! Bantock's lavish romanticism is superbly served by both artists and recording team. Discovery after discovery’ (MusicWeb International).