Sir Granville Bantock (1868-1946): aspects of his life and songs

King, Andrew Howard (2021). Sir Granville Bantock (1868-1946): aspects of his life and songs. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis is an investigation into aspects of the life and songs of Sir Granville Ransome Bantock (1868–1946). An accomplished composer, educator, conductor and administrator, he also travelled the world as an internationally respected examiner and adjudicator, leaving his mark on every facet of musical life. In addition to his busy professional life, simultaneously holding the positions of Principal of the Birmingham and Midland Institute School of Music (now the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) and Peyton Professor at the University of Birmingham, he composed over 800 works incorporating every genre, of which more than half are songs. Despite the flourishing of research into composers associated with the English Musical Renaissance, Bantock has been more or less overlooked. This thesis aims to redress the balance by examining Bantock’s life and music through a selection of his many songs, with an emphasis via dedicated case studies on those to texts by Shakespeare, Browning, and Wilde. While the Browning settings represent traits that led him to be considered the ‘English Wagner’, Bantock’s settings of Shakespeare and Wilde identify styles not regularly seen in his music as a composer of subtle, intimate music, and as a late explorer of a more dissonant musical language respectively. A compulsive reader, the thesis further examines Bantock’s obsession with literature and seeks to place his massive consumption of a broad variety of material within the wider field of his creative output in comparison with that of his contemporaries.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Music
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music


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