Tippett and Britten

November 22 2013

Michael Tippett dedicated his Concerto for Orchestra to Britten on his fiftieth birthday (last post). Performed LSO, Colin Davis, Edinburgh Festival, August 28 1963.

When I listen to it now, the theory of a “great divide” in his music between the works before and after King Priam seems mistaken. The Concerto for Orchestra seems to me to grow naturally enough out of the Corelli Fantasia and the piano concerto.

LSO, Colin Davis (not, I think, the premiere):

Tippett himself (not Meirion Bowen, I think) made a successful setting of the first movement for wind band (no longer on YouTube), called Mosaic (not a very wind-bandy name).

Was the only known photograph of Britten and Tippett together taken at a Britten fiftieth birthday party? Britten dedicated his church parable Curlew River to Tippett in the following year.

The London Sinfonietta’s 1986 Britten-Tippett Festival should be repeated.

See Arnold Whittall, The Music of Britten and Tippett, Studies in Themes and Techniques, Cambridge University Press, 1990. And Ivan Hewett, Michael Tippett: a visionary in the shadow of his rival, Telegraph, October 19 2012.

4 Responses to “Tippett and Britten”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    Norman Lebrecht says that Tippett should be forgotten. But Lebrecht is a gossip columnist, whose judgments on music are not worth reading.

  2. Daniel Miller Says:

    Thank you for the postscript about Lebrecht re: Tippett. I want writers on music to illuminate and place music in its context, not give us their personal grievances.

    I think, by the way, that Mosaic is an appropriately wind-bandy name. You should see the titles of some other contemporary wind works. :)

    And thanks for the Stravinsky Huxley Variations in an earlier post. That work and his In Memorium Dylan Thomas are some of his best attempts at serialism. Seems so many great cultural figures were dying around him.


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