It was the release of this disc in 1990 that began the miniscule Bantock revival of the later years of the twentieth century. How could it not? With Bantock's Celtic Symphony from 1940 scored for full string orchestra plus a lush six harps performed with voluptuous sentimentality by Vernon Handley and the Royal Philharmonic and recorded in luxurious luminosity by Hyperion starting the program, the disc was an instant favorite with both sterophiles and Anglophiles. And the sensuous and demonic The Witch of Atlas, the relatively brief but stirring The Sea Reivers, and concluding with the expansive and heroic Hebridean Symphony are performed with the same level of conviction by Handley and the RPO and recorded at the same degree of lucidity and luminosity by Hyperion. If you can only hear one Bantock disc with modern sound, this is the one to hear.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|A Celtic Symphony, for string orchestra & 6 harps|
|The Witch of Atlas (Tone Poem for Orchestra, No. 5)|