Tippett: A Child of Our Time

This page lists all recordings of A Child of Our Time, by Michael Kemp Tippett (1905-98) on CD, SACD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

Recommendations

Editor's Choice
September 2008
4 star

All recordings

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Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Tippett: A Child of Our Time


Jessye Norman (soprano), Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano), Richard Cassilly (tenor) & John Shirley-Quirk (bass)

BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Choral Society & BBC Singers, Sir Colin Davis

“Davis’s reading as a whole packs an enormous dramatic punch, and this is one oratorio that suffers not at all from being brought close to the opera house” Gramophone Magazine

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Decca 20C - 4788351

(CD)

$11.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Tippett: A Child of Our Time


Cynthia Haymon (soprano), Cynthia Clarey (contralto), Damon Evans (tenor) & Willard White (bass)

London Symphony Chorus & London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox

Our re-release of the 1992 recording of Tippett’s A Child of Our Time is Disc of the Month in this new wave of additions to Chandos’ ongoing Hickox Legacy series.

Recreating in contemporary terms a traditional form in Western music, one that goes back to the Lutheran Passions of J.S. Bach and the great Old and New Testament oratories of Handel, and drawing on the familiar musico-dramatic conventions of the genre – recitative, aria, ensemble, chorus, chorale, and the continuous presence of the orchestra – Tippett both re-affirms and transforms the genre. The most striking and brilliant transformation is the composer’s choice of the Negro Spiritual in place of the congregational hymn.

This oratorio, composed between 1939 and 1941 and premiered in 1944, was born out of a very personal sense of human deprivation and hardship; during the hard times in England in the thirties Tippett had shared his choral craft with community workers, and during the war he inspired unemployed professional musicians and amateurs as a choral and orchestral conductor at Morley College.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Chandos Classics - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN10869X

(CD)

$8.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Tippett: A Child of Our Time


DSD recording, live at the Barbican December 2007

“Colin Davis's revival of A Child of Our Time at the Barbican last December, ranked, unquestionably, among his most formidable achievements. That its transfer to LSO Live is less than ideal is due to the actual recording, which persistently emphasises clarity at the expense of weight...Davis conducts like one possessed, and the playing is exemplary, though the LSO Chorus, matchlessly intense in this work, sometimes sounds distant. The recording also does the soloists few favours - but if you're not moved to tears by Indra Thomas in the spirituals and Steve Davislim singing I Have No Money for My Bread, I suspect you of lacking soul and conscience. Awesome, but also very flawed.” The Guardian, 11th July 2008 ****

“Davis’s latest recording, taken from two live performances with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, has its own flaws, and the team of soloists is uneven, with the rich-voiced, impassioned bass, Matthew Rose, by far the most convincing. The tenor, Steve Davislim, is also good, but the two women, Indra Thomas and Mihoko Fujimura, lack the right sort of intensity. The orchestral playing is superb, the choral singing gutsy and confident.” Sunday Times, 13th July 2008 ***

“From just about every point of view this is an improvement on Colin Davis's recent Dresden Staatskapelle A Child of Our Time… The soloists are more roundly convincing… and yet they still aren't quite distinctive enough to stand up against the magnificent team on Davis's 1975 version (now on Decca).” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 ***

“There are emotional depths here which turn this recording into something very special.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2008

“Four years after his Dresden version of A Childof Our Time, recorded live in the Semperoper (Profil, 3/08), Sir Colin Davis returned to the work in the very different environment of London's Barbican Hall. On this occasion the Classic Sound engineers and editors have managed a good blend of the intimate and the intense. Now and again a soloist may seem unduly reticent – perhaps a vocal problem on the day rather than a matter of recorded balance. But is there another recording that surpasses this one in the expressive power with which choral singing and orchestral playing combine to reinforce the timeless message of this most history-conscious work, rooted as it is in events just prior to the years of its composition (1939-41)? The formidable discipline and sensitivity of the London Symphony Chorus are immediately clear in the well defined dynamic contrasts of Part 1's first movement. While an imposing weight of sonority, as in the Spiritual 'Go Down Moses', can be guaranteed, there is a rare lightness of articulation in the passage beginning 'We are as seed before the wind', which returns in 'Nobody knows the trouble I see'.
Of the soloists, soprano Indra Thomas struggles with foggy vibrato while still managing to float some beautifully unstrained high notes in the final ensemble. Mihoko Fujimura, Steve Davislim and Matthew Rose are all excellent, and it's especially good to have a tenor who sounds young enough to embody the character of Herschel Grynszpan convincingly. Of course, some collectors will not be persuaded that Sir Colin could ever match, let alone outdo, his first, 1975 Philips recording of the work. Nevertheless, the enduring significance of the piece for him is palpable right through to the superbly shaped account of the final Spiritual, 'Deep River'. There are emotional depths here which turn this recording into something very special.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2008

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

LSO Live - LSO0670

(SACD)

$11.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Tippett: A Child of Our Time


Cynthia Haymon (soprano), Cynthia Clarey (alto), Damon Evans (tenor), Willard White (bass)

London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Richard Hickox

Chandos - CHAN9123

(CD)

$15.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

An Immortal Legacy

An Immortal Legacy


Britten:

Choral Dances from Gloriana, Op. 53

Byrd:

The sweet and merry month of May

Laudibus in sanctis

Chilcott:

Tallis Canon

Gibbons, O:

The Silver Swan

MacMillan:

The Strathclyde Motets: Sedebit Dominus Rex

The Strathclyde Motets: Mitte manum tuam

Morley:

April is in My Mistress' Face

Tallis:

Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter

Salvator mundi

O nata lux de lumine 5vv

O sacrum convivium

Loquebantur variis linguis

Veni creator: Come Holy Ghost

Tippett:

A Child of Our Time


16th-century England was a place of much religious change. It was a dangerous and confusing time and it is testament to their incredible skill and musical mastery that composers like Tallis and Byrd were able to produce such magnificent works in such troubled times. Their music left a lasting legacy, influencing some of our most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century composers and surviving over half a millennium to be performed as widely today as they have ever been.

This disc features some of the best-loved classics of Tudor and Jacobean church music together with madrigals by Tallis, Byrd and Gibbons. They are performed alongside pieces by Britten, Tippett and MacMillan including the Five Spirituals from A Child of Our Time and the Choral Dances from Gloriana. The Sixteen has performed this repertoire around the world over the last six years and is one of the ensemble’s most popular concert programmes.

Coro - COR16111

(CD)

$15.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 25

Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 25


Tippett:

A Child of Our Time


Ute Selbig (soprano), Nora Gubisch (mezzo), Jerry Hadley (tenor), Robert Holl (bass)

Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis

“Sir Colin Davis paces the sombre orchestral opening with great deliberation, and when the chorus enter the words "on its dark side" are weightily emphasised. The recording is well managed, with a real sense of occasion. But is can’t match the exceptional qualities of Sir Colin's earlier recording, made in 1975, with Jessye Norman and Janet Baker among the soloists.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2008

25% off Profil

Profil Medien Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - PH07052

(CD)

Normally: $11.50

Special: $8.62

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Tippett: A Child of Our Time

Tippett: A Child of Our Time


Jessye Norman (soprano), Dame Janet Baker (mezzo), Richard Cassilly (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)

BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers, BBC Choral Society, Sir Colin Davis

Presto CD

Philips - 4200752

(Presto CD)

$17.00

(also available to download from $8.25)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Tippett: A Child of Our Time

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

“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

Naxos - 8557570

(CD)

$8.25

(also available to download from $7.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

British Music Collection - Tippett's Choral Works

British Music Collection - Tippett's Choral Works


Tippett:

A Child of Our Time

Dance, Clarion Air

Four Songs from the British Isles

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense)

The Weeping Babe


Jessye Norman, Janet Baker, Richard Cassilly, John Shirley-Quirk, Caryl Kelly, Kate Eckersley, Philip cave, Paul Cann

BBC Singers, BBC Choral Society, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Schola Cantorum, Colin Davis, Nicholas Cleobury

Presto CD

Decca British Music Collection - 4734212

(Presto CD - 2 discs)

$21.00

(also available to download from $16.75)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Tippett - Vocal Music

Tippett - Vocal Music


Tippett:

Boyhood's End

Philip Langridge (tenor), John Constable (piano)

The Heart's Assurance

Philip Langridge (tenor), John Constable (piano)

Dance, Clarion Air

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

The Source

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

The Windhover

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

Lullaby

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

Bonny at morn

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

Four Songs from the British Isles

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense)

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

Plebs Angelica

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

The Weeping Babe

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

Music

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Stephen Cleobury

A Child of Our Time

Jessye Norman (soprano), Janet Baker (mezzo), Richard Cassilly (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis

Five Negro Spirituals from A Child Of Our Time

Schola Cantorum Of Oxford, Nicholas Cleobury

Songs for Achilles

Philip Langridge (tenor), Timothy Walker (guitar)

Nicholas Cleobury

Songs for Ariel

Philip Langridge (tenor), John Constable (piano)

Songs for Dov

Robert Tear (tenor)

London Sinfonietta, David Atherton

Byzantium

Faye Robinson (soprano)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti

The Knot Garden

Yvonne Minton (Thea), Raimund Herincx (Faber), Josephine Barstow (Denise), Jill Gomez (Flora), Thomas Hemsley (Mangus), Thomas Carey (Mel), Robert Tear (Dov)

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Sir Colin Davis


Decca Collectors Edition - 4757172

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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