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Tippett: Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli
Sir Michael Tippett (1905-1998) is regarded, along with Benjamin Britten, as one of the most important British composers of the 20th century. He was well-known for his atheist, humanitarian and pacifist beliefs which, during the Second World War, caused him to serve a term in prison as a conscientious objector. He was also one of the first openly gay composers and quite politically active: all qualities of his personality that are reflected in his work. The earliest work in this set is the Concerto for double string orchestra which was one of Tippett's first successes and one of his most popular works. The years 1945-59, from which most of the works in this set come, might be regarded as the composer's middle-period, a time of great success and critical denigration: the opera The Midsummer Marriage attracted particular criticism, more for its obscure libretto (written by Tippett himself) than the music itself, which is among some of his finest. John Odgon's performance of the 1955 Piano Concerto is, arguably, the definitive performance of this work and is a fine tribute to a great pianist.
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Tippett - Orchestra Works
“Three memorable classics: Yehudi Menuhin leads the Fantasia concertante, and in the Piano Concerto, Ogdon is both powerful and reflective. Clear, rather bass-light recorded sound.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2009 ****
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Proms 2012 - Music from the 2012 Proms Season
Mireille Delunsch (soprano), Helene Jossoud (mezzo-soprano), Gerard Theruel (baritone), Manfred Fink (tenor), Ruxandra Donose (mezzo-soprano), Hasmik Papian (soprano), Claudio Otelli (bass-baritone), Simon Lindley (organ), Christopher Purves (baritone), John Cheek (bass), Claire Rutter (soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor), Chen-Ye Yuan (baritone), Thomas Hammons (bass-baritone), Robert Orth (baritone)
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lille National Orchestra, Capella Istropolitana, Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia, Nicolaus Esterhazy Chorus, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Lyon National Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Leeds Philharmonic Ch, Adrian Leaper, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Bohdan Warchal, Bela Drahos, Yoav Talmi, Jun Markl, James Judd, Paul Daniel, Michael Tippett, Marin Alsop, Kees Bakels, Vasily Petrenko, David Hill, Michael Halasz
Tippett - Orchestral Works
Its (Nimbus's) commitment to preserving the composer's own readings of his music during his lifetime was noble, assiduous and beyond reproach … The achievement………….. A panoramic view of his output ……………… is such as to renew our sense of Tippett's greatness and his lasting historical presence, and the sheer glory of his music.’ (BBC Music Magazine) of 4 CD box set
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This unique recording was conducted by Sir Michael Tippett himself when he was 85. It is thus a wonderful testament to one of great figures of British music of the twentieth century and very fitting that it should be once again in circulation during the centenary year
“The centenary of Sir Michael Tippett's birth saw a fair amount of critical agonising about whether he was, any longer, a composer for our time, or whether his time had passed. It's difficult to find much substance in that viewpoint when confronted with a work, first performed in 1944, which seems to have more in common with John Adams's much-admired ElNiño of 2000 than with Belshazzar's Feast, or even the War Requiem. The starkness of the confrontations in A Child of our Time between politics and psychology, between a high-art style rooted in Bach and a more popular, folktinged manner (the tango, Negro Spirituals), remains vivid, as does the sense of a composer doggedly carving out a viably personal idiom while not shirking matters of burning social and spiritual relevance. Maybe the focus wavers in places but the accumulated dramatic power, and its double release, first in a magical vision of spring, then in a more anxious, uncertain cry for peace and reconciliation, isn't something a bumbling amateur could have brought off.
Tippett was 87 when this recording was made, and neither its rhythmic momentum nor its textural clarity are ideal. But the composer's own lovingly crafted reading has a special place in the discography of this still-modern masterpiece.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
(also available to download from $6.00)
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Sir Michael Tippett, 1905-1998: The Nimbus Recordings
Martino Tirimo (piano), Ernst Kovacic (violin), Gerard Caussé (viola), Alexander Baillie (cello), Craig Ogden (guitar)
Chorus of Opera North, English Northern Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Medici String Quartet, English String Orchestra, St. John's College Choir, Cambridge, Michael Tippett, William Boughton, George Guest
“[Nimbus'] commitment to preserving the composer's own readings of his music during his lifetime was noble, assiduous and beyond reproach ... The achievement, as revealed on this four-CD collection, a panoramic view of his output lasting in all nearly four and a half hours, is such as to renew our sense of Tippett's greatness and his lasting historical presence, and the sheer glory of his music.” BBC Music Magazine
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