Pibroch, which literally means ‘piping’ in Scots Gaelic, has been traditionally played on the bagpipes for several centuries. But there is an earlier tradition of pibroch having been performed on the wire-strung Celtic harp, and it is this earlier practice that Bantock recalls with the arpeggiated accompaniment of the harp or Piano in his Pibroch. The throaty Cello tones carry the sadness of the lament.
Composer, conductor and educator Granville Bantock’s Scottish parentage certainly influences much of his music oeuvre, which is reaching new audiences through renewed interest in the performance of his works, including at the last night of the Proms. He was an energetic and creative personality who was key in founding the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and championing the music of Jean Sibelius in his day. Edward Elgar dedicated the second of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to Bantock.