Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 August 2019
Bantock continued to promote the work of young British composers in London in 1897, organising a chamber music concert on 11 May which included his own Songs of Japan, and planning an orchestral concert; he also worked on his oratorio Christus. However, there were two particularly significant events for Bantock in 1897: his engagement to Helena von Schweitzer (who published her first book of verse, The Love-Philtre and Other Poems, in the same year) and his appointment as Musical Director at the Tower, New Brighton in June. He soon began to offer concert programmes at New Brighton dedicated to single composers, including an all-Wagner concert on 10 September and an all-Mackenzie concert on 4 August and 17 September. Wallace began work on the incidental music to Pelléas et Mélisande (later converted into an orchestral suite) and an Overtura Appassionata (subsequently incorporated into the Creation Symphony) and completed his third symphonic poem, Sister Helen (also originally in the form of incidental music); there were premieres of his orchestral Suite in Olden Style by the Runcorn Music Society on 17 November and the Choral ballad The Massacre of the Macpherson by the Leeds Musical Union. Under the pseudonym Hugh Mortimer Cecil, Newman published his Pseudo-Philosophy at the End of the Nineteenth Century. Both Wallace and Newman also contributed to the short-lived journal The Musician.
16 GRANVILLE BANTOCK TO WILLIAM WALLACE
Jan 4th /97
My dear Wallace
Very many thanks for your expected letter, and for the sound and ably expressed views that it contains.
In the main you are absolutely right, but a ruse is often successful, if carried forward co-operatively so to speak. I liken your position and mine to that of two generals. We have started a revolution, and we have a following behind us. It therefore bef behoves us to act most deliberately yet cautiously before taking the next step. As agreed upon the Chamber Concert shall only include those, whom we choose, viz the original six with perhaps Lane Wilson. Steggall is going to write an Agnus Dei for Solo voice, Harp and Violin, and John Thomas, Harpist Esq to her Majesty Queen Victoria, will I think be induced to appear on the occasion. But here comes the crux.