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Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Tippett: A Child of Our Time

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Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time was composed between 1939 and 1942 as a direct response to the events leading up to (and including) the notorious Kristallnacht, in November 1938, in National Socialist Germany. Tippet first intended to write an opera, but quickly determined that this would inevitably be too literal, and that the (rather neglected) oratorio form lent greater scope for reflective and meditative interjections to the narrative.

Hoping to persuade his friend and mentor T.S. Elliot to write the libretto, he sent the poet such an intricately detailed plan that Elliot responded by suggesting that Tippett, having thought so carefully about it, prepare the text himself – which he duly did. (He then went on to write his own libretti for all his future large vocal works). Set for choir, orchestra, and four soloists, the work adopts a structure that owes a debt to Handel’s Messiah, which Tippett had studied intensively in the 1930s. In addition, Tippett wanted to incorporate choral interludes much as Bach had done in his passions. Rejecting Lutheran chorals and Jewish hymns, he finally settled on African-American spirituals of which he placed five within the work.

Sir Andrew Davis conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with an exceptional quartet of soloists. The album was recorded in Surround Sound in Croydon’s Fairfield Halls following live performances in London’s Royal Festival Hall.

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Product Description:


  • Release Date: May 03, 2024


  • UPC: 095115534120


  • Catalog Number: CHSA 5341


  • Label: Chandos


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Michael Tippett


  • Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra


  • Performer: Pumeza Matchikiza, Dame Sarah Connolly, Joshua Stewart, Ashley Riches