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.


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

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


Hybrid Multi-channel

LSO Live - LSO0670



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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



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An Immortal Legacy

An Immortal Legacy


Choral Dances from Gloriana, Op. 53


The sweet and merry month of May

Laudibus in sanctis


Tallis Canon

Gibbons, O:

The Silver Swan


The Strathclyde Motets: Sedebit Dominus Rex

The Strathclyde Motets: Mitte manum tuam


April is in My Mistress' Face


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


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.

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Coro - COR16111


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Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 25

Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 25


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

Profil Medien Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - PH07052



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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



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British Music Collection - Tippett's Choral Works

British Music Collection - Tippett's Choral Works


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

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Decca British Music Collection - 4734212

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Tippett - Vocal Music

Tippett - Vocal Music


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


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


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


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)

Sir Colin Davis Anthology

Sir Colin Davis Anthology

Limited Edition of 5000


Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

SACD for the first time

Les Francs-juges Overture, Op. 3

Te Deum, Op. 22

Previously unreleased

Les Troyens

Ben Heppner (Enée), Michelle DeYoung (Didon), Petra Lang (Cassandre), Sara Mingardo (Anna), Peter Mattei (Chorèbe), Stephen Milling (Narbal), Kenneth Tarver (Iopas), Toby Spence (Hylas), Alan Ewing (Priam), Guang Yang (Hécube), Isabelle Cals (Ascagne), Tigran Martirossian (Panthée), Bülent Bezdüz (Helenus), Mark Stone (Un chef grec), Leigh Melrose (Un soldat troyen/Mercure), Orlin Annastassov (L'Ombre d'Hector), Andrew Greenan (Premiere Sentinelle), Roderick Earle (Deuxieme Sentinelle)


Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'

SACD for the first time


Enigma Variations, Op. 36

Introduction & Allegro for strings, Op. 47


The Oceanides, Op. 73

Previously unreleased

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49


A Child of Our Time

Vaughan Williams:

Symphony No. 4 in F minor

Previously unreleased


Belshazzar's Feast

Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor

8 SACD, 4 CD & 1 DVD [60 min]

Sir Colin Davis was instrumental in the success and development of LSO Live, including the label’s first Grammy Award. He also played a huge part in the pre-eminence of the LSO across the globe for more than 50 years. This unique collection of 13-discs is the 100th release on LSO Live, and will be a limited edition release. The collection pays tribute to not only Sir Colin’s work with LSO Live, but more specifically his relationship with LSO through the decades.

The collection includes previously unreleased material from the LSO Live archive, and two much loved recordings on high-resolution SACD for the first time, Dvorak Symphony No 9 and Berlioz Symphonie fantastique. Never before seen private correspondence and photos from Sir Colin’s archives accompany the discs.

The anthology is completed with a bonus DVD documentary by Reiner Moritz. This portrait includes his last public statements, and contributions from Sir David Attenborough, Sir Simon Rattle and Roger Wright. The documentary highlights his work in masterclasses, opera, concerts and to-camera talk which reveals the man behind the musician.

In rigid box with lift-off lid+commemorative book incorporating photo postcards

Total audio playing time 11 hours, 75min, 45s

Notes in English, French and German, DVD subtitles in French, German, Italian, Spanish & Japanese

“despite the film’s scrappy construction music and man emerge loud and clear. A “reluctant king” is Sir David Attenborough’s description. His baton, Mitsuko Uchida, the pianist, crisply says, doesn’t dictate, it invites...Long live the art and memory of the reluctant king.” The Times, 18th April 2014 ****

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

LSO Live - LSO0766

(SACD - 12 discs)


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Magnificat: 500 Years of Choral Masterworks

Magnificat: 500 Years of Choral Masterworks


Miserere mei, Deus



Bach, J S:

Magnificat in D major, BWV243

Cantata BWV106 'Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit' (Actus tragicus)

Cantata BWV140 'Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme'

Cantata BWV147 'Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben'

St John Passion, BWV245

St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Mass in B minor, BWV232

Barber, S:

God’s Grandeur

Heaven-Haven: A Nun Takes the Veil Op. 13, No. 1

Agnus Dei


Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123


L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25

Sara la baigneuse


La belle voyageuse

Quartetto e Coro dei Maggi

Chant Sacré


Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45


War Requiem, Op. 66

Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano), Peter Pears (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)

London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, The Bach Choir, Melos Ensemble, Benjamin Britten


Te Deum in C major, WAB 45

Locus iste, WAB 23

Ave Maria

Virga Jesse floruit

Ecce sacerdos magnus

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam

Christus factus est


Ave verum Corpus


Mass for four voices

Voluntary a3

Mass for three voices

Fantasia in C (Bk 25)

Mass for five voices

Charpentier, M-A:

Te Deum, H146

In nativitatem Domini canticum, H. 416

Messe de minuit pour Noël


Ave Maria

O Domine Jesu Christe

Ave verum corpus


Requiem, Op. 9

Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, Op. 10


The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38


Requiem, Op. 48


Totus Tuus, Op. 60

Gregorian Chant:

Deus in adjutorum - Domine ad adjuvandum

Collect And Benedicamus Domino Vobiscum


Israel in Egypt, HWV54

Coronation Anthem No. 1, HWV258 'Zadok the Priest'

Coronation Anthem No. 3, HWV260 'The King Shall Rejoice'



Mass, Hob. XXII:11 in D minor 'Nelsonmesse'

The Creation


Take him, earth, for cherishing


Glagolitic Mass

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Rudolf Kempe


Missa brevis

Brighton Festival Chorus, Laszlo Heltay


Timor et Tremor


Lux aeterna


Crucifixus in 8 parts


Symphony No. 8 in E flat major 'Symphony of a Thousand'

Georg Solti, Georg Solti


Elijah, Op. 70

sung in English


O sacrum convivium


Vespro della beata Vergine (1610)


Mass in C minor, K427 'Great'

Mass in C major, K317 'Coronation Mass'

Requiem in D minor, K626




Carmina Burana

Christiane Oelze (soprano), David Kübler (tenor), Simon Keenlyside (baritone)

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Christian Thielemann


Stabat mater

Missa Papae Marcelli


I was glad



De profundis

The Woman With The Alabaster Box


Stabat Mater



Orchestre National de France, R.T.F. Choeur De Radio France, Charles Dutoit

Litanies à la Vierge noire

Orchestre National de France, R.T.F. Choeur De Radio France, Charles Dutoit

Stabat mater

Orchestre National de France, R.T.F. Choeur De Radio France, Charles Dutoit

Praetorius, M:

In dulci jubilo


Hail! Bright Cecilia (Ode for St Cecilia's Day 1692), Z328

Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, 1695: Funeral Sentences


Vespers, Op. 37

Olga Borodina (mezzo)

St.Petersburg Chamber Choir, Nikolai Korniev


Stabat Mater


Postlude: Benedicamus Domino à 6 (modus pleno organo pedaliter)


Christum wir sollen loben schon

Wir Christenleut haben itzund Freud

Lobt Gott, Ihr Christen all zugleich

Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ


Mass No. 2 in G major, D167

Psalm 23 'Gott ist mein Hirt', D706


Psalm 2: Warum toben die Heiden, SWV23

Weihnachts-Historie, SWV435

Magnificat Anima Mea Dominum, SWV468

O bone Jesu, fili Mariae, SWV 471


The Crucifixion


Symphony of Psalms

Berliner Philharmoniker, Pierre Boulez


David Squibb (organ)

English Bach Festival Orchestra, Members of the, Leonard Bernstein, Trinity Boys Choir, English Bach Festival Chorus, Nicholas Cleobury


Lamentations of Jeremiah I & II

Spem in alium for eight five-part choirs '40-part Motet'


The Lamb

Song for Athene


A Child of Our Time

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

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



Quattro Pezzi Sacri


Salve Regina a 8

Requiem 1605 'Officium defunctorum'


Gloria in D major, RV589

Nulla in mundo pax sincera, motet for soprano, strings & continuo, RV 630


Belshazzar's Feast


Lux aurumque

Five Hebrew Love Songs

The Seal Lullaby

A Boy and a Girl

Leonardo dreams of his flying machine

Three Songs of Faith

The Stolen Child

Water Night

Nox Aurumque


This unique, limited-edition boxed set offers 50 CDs of the greatest choral masterpieces of the past 500 years, stretching from Renaissance Masses and the glories of the Baroque and Classical eras through to the major works of the Romantic era and the diversity of the 20th and 21st centuries, all in some of the greatest recordings ever committed to disc.

A 160-page booklet offers detailed tracklistings, full artist and production information including details on recording dates and venues and producers. A 4000-word essay by noted choral music writer Andrew Stewart is provided in English, French and German.

Spring Sale - up to 60% off

Decca - 4783640

(CD - 50 discs)

Normally: $160.00

Special: $96.00

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