Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 August 2019
1921 marked Sibelius's final visit to Britain. Having attended a reception on 10 February at Claridge's hotel and heard Sibelius rehearse and perform his Fifth Symphony on 12 and 13 February, plus Sibelius's performance of his Karelia Suite, Valse triste and Valse lyrique in the afternoon of 19 February, Bantock that evening took Sibelius back to Birmingham to oversee the composer's engagements there, with Sibelius subsequently travelling to Oxford on 23 February. Bantock's tribute to the composer, ‘Sibelius. The Man and Artist’, was published in The Times on 26 February, and on 6 March Bantock travelled to London to hear Sibelius conduct The Swan of Tuonela, along with the Andante festivo for string quartet. Bantock continued to promote Sibelius's music after Sibelius's return to Finland, conducting the Third Symphony, The Swan of Tuonela and En Saga at the Midland Institute on 21 March. Bantock's publications in 1921 included Songs of Arcady, ‘Summum Bonum’, ‘A Pearl, a Girl’ and ‘The Moon Maiden's Song’; he also completed The Golden Journey to Samarkand, Pagan Chants and Kubla Khan for brass band, plus song settings of Fiona Mcleod (‘The Shadowy Woodlands’, ‘Nocturne’, ‘At the Rising of the Moon’, ‘The Reed Player’), Shelley (‘As the Moon's Soft Splendour’, ‘Hymn of Pan’, ‘Ozymandias’, ‘A Widow Bird’) and Browning (‘By the Fireside’, ‘In a Year’, ‘Wanting is – What?’, ‘Life in a Love’) and rearranged The Pierrot of the Minute overture for strings, harp and harmonium for a ballet production. He conducted his Hebridean Symphony at the Queen's Hall on 30 April and Sappho and Browning orchestral songs in Bournemouth in November; Tovey (appointed by Bantock as an External Examiner at Birmingham University) conducted the Sappho Prelude and songs with orchestra on 5 March, and The Vanity of Vanities was performed by the Wolverhampton Music Society on 10 October. As well as adjudicating at musical festivals in Cleethorpes and Ilkley, Bantock met the illustrator Eduard Dulac on 3 December.
294 GRANVILLE BANTOCK TO ERNEST NEWMAN
26 WHEELEYS ROAD
I am very sorry to hear from your letter of yesterday that your health is causing you such anxiety, & quite understand your desire to get away for a change of air & scene.