Bantock’s Hebridean Symphony was an undertaking of love; love for his native Scotland, love for the music of Scotland, and love for the beauty of the land, especially, and obviously, the inner and outer islands of the Hebrides.
Per Keith Anderson, who wrote the liner notes for the album from which this performance was taken, the symphony is, “A work of brooding mystery and impetuous drama”. I certainly agree. Anderson then goes on to state that Bantock had a, ” romantic preoccupation with the Hebrides and other aspects of Celctic culture”. Anderson calls this work a, “work of some power,… that is ambitious, dramatic, occasionally grandiose, suggesting in a demanding score,…something of his own conception of a Celctic world with which he had renewed acquantance by a walking tour of the Highlands as a necessary preparation for the symphony”. Anderson sums up all too well the massive beauty and ethereal qualities of Northern Scotland. Anderson’s summation is excellent, in my humble opinion, where he states that, “The music grows in intensity from the mists of the opening to an impressive storm, war, a love-lament and a stirring song of victory, before the mists close in once more.
A beautiful piece, written by an oft forgotten wonder of England.
Performed by the Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic (Kosice) under Adrian Leaper.