Tippett: A Child of Our Time

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Tippett: A Child of Our Time



Catalogue No:




Release date:

3rd Feb 2005




69 minutes


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Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Faye Robinson (soprano), Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Jon Garrison (tenor) & John Cheek (bass-baritone)

City of Birmingham Chorus & City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sir Michael Tippett

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



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Michael Tippett: A Child of our Time

Part 1: The world turns on its dark side (Chorus)

Part 1: The Argument - Man has measured the heavens with a telescope (Alto)

Part 1: Interludium - Scena - Is evil then good? (Chorus and Alto)

Part 1: The Narrator - Now in each nation there were some cast out (Bass)

Part 1: Chorus of the Oppressed - When shall the usurers' city cease

Part 1: I have no money for my bread (Tenor)

Part 1: How can I cherish my man in such days (Soprano)

Part 1: A Spiritual - Steal away (Chorus and Soli)

Part 2: A star rises in mid-winter (Chorus)

Part 2: The Narrator - And a time came (Bass)

Part 2: Chorus of Persecutors and Persecuted - Away with them! (Double Chorus)

Part 2: The Narrator - Where they could, they fled from the terror (Bass)

Part 2: Chorus of the Self-righteous - We cannot have them in our Empire

Part 2: The Narrator - And the boy's mother wrote a letter (Bass)

Part 2: Scena - O my son! (Soloists)

Part 2: A Spiritual - Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord (Chorus and Soli)

Part 2: Scena - The boy becomes desperate in his agony (Bass, Alto)

Part 2: The Narrator - They took a terrible vengeance (Bass)

Part 2: The Terror - Burn down their houses! (Chorus)

Part 2: The Narrator - Men were ashamed of what was done (Bass)

Part 2: A Spiritual of Anger - Go down, Moses (Chorus and Bass)

Part 2: The boy sings in his prison - My dreams are all shattered in a ghastly reality (Tenor)

Part 2: The Mother - What have I done to you, my son? (Soprano)

Part 2: The dark forces rise like a flood (Alto)

Part 2: A Spiritual - O, by and by (Chorus and Soprano)

Part 3: The cold deepens (Chorus)

Part 3: The soul of man is impassioned like a woman (Alto)

Part 3: Scena - The words of wisdom are these (Bass, Chorus)

Part 3: Preludium - I would know my shadow and my light (Chorus and Soli)

Part 3: A Spiritual - Deep river, my home is over Jordan (Chorus and Soli)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“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 ElNiƱo 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.”

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