Author Topic: Tippett's Tearoom  (Read 54502 times)

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karlhenning

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Tippett's Tearoom
« on: April 11, 2007, 09:12:22 AM »
Listened to The Rose Lake the other evening, and was entranced.

Then The Vision of St Augustine started, and I couldn't listen on.  I suspect it was just a matter of being caught up in the spirit of the first piece.  I'll try Auggie again later

Now giving the Fantasia concertante on a Theme of Corelli a spin at long last.


karlhenning

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 09:37:12 AM »
The Evening Canticles struck me as a little odd.  Technically within the Anglican tradition -- but a little odd  8)

Offline val

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 12:44:22 AM »
My favorite work of Tippett is the 3rd Symphony.

But the oratorio "A child of our time" is a very strong work, although, as always in Tippett it seems very difficult to understand the message he wants to deliver. The same regarding the opera The Midsummer Marriage, with beautiful music, but with a libretto not easy to follow.
I want to listen again his opera King Priam. I heard it many years ago and liked it much.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 01:02:42 AM »
Nice thread title, Karl! 8)

karlhenning

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 03:09:15 AM »
But the oratorio "A child of our time" is a very strong work, although, as always in Tippett it seems very difficult to understand the message he wants to deliver.

Colin Davis conducted this with the BSO not long ago.  I regret missing that, for it might well have illuminated the piece for me — but the BSO is programming such terrific seasons, I can't possibly attend all the concerts I might wish!

— Great 'problem' to have, of course!  ;)

Offline Susan de Visne

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 04:02:32 AM »


But the oratorio "A child of our time" is a very strong work, although, as always in Tippett it seems very difficult to understand the message he wants to deliver.

The message is very clear, I'd have thought - it's that war and violence are disastrous and to be lamented (Tippett was a pacifist). It's very powerful, though a little awkwardly written for voices. One of the most moving occasions of my life was singing in A Child of Our Time in Germany, with Tippett in the audience - and in the lift (elevator to you Americans) in the hotel afterwards! He was very old by then, almost blind, but extremely amiable.

Offline Thom

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 09:15:24 AM »
My favourites are the Fantasy on a theme of Corelli and the magnificent Concerto for Double String Orchestra. Surely these rank among the best of English (and even beyond perhaps) string music?

Offline knight66

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 05:00:59 PM »
I sang Child of Our Time conducted by Tippet. He was fairly old, but retained the spry aged public schoolboy demenor. However, at one point he suddenly took time out in the performance. I instantly had sweat come out on the back of my knees. The leader shot up his bow, we followed him and Tippet joined us.

Despite all that he was inspiring to sing for.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

karlhenning

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2007, 03:32:03 AM »
My favourites are the Fantasy on a theme of Corelli and the magnificent Concerto for Double String Orchestra. Surely these rank among the best of English (and even beyond perhaps) string music?

They are very fine;  but then, English music is particularly rich with a wonderful string orchestra literature.

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2007, 04:43:51 AM »
The Vision of St. Augustine can be a tough nut to crack. I can't say I totally know what he was getting at. But the instrumental interlude at the end of Part I with the interjections of piano and xylophone is always a delight.

karlhenning

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 04:46:25 AM »
I've got to go back to it on its own account, Mark.  I think it was just being such a different thing to The Rose Lake — in itself, a good thing, such variety, of course — and it cuing up when I was still digesting the resonance of the ballet.

tjguitar

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2007, 07:42:54 PM »
Ive been listening to this double decca Tippet over the weekend:



Interesting composer.  Don't know if I'll pick up anytihng else, as this seems to have most of the 'essential works', not bad though, not bad at all...think the concerto for double string orchestra is my favorite, but I like pretty much everything except byzantium and dance, clarion air.  Anyone know the instrumentation of the 'double string' concerto?

springrite

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2007, 07:55:53 PM »
Child of Our Time is the closest thing we have in our time to Bach's St. Mathew Passion, and  the use of negro spirituals is very similar to Bach's use of German Church Chorales, music that much of the audience already know, thus underlining the meaning of the piece (in this case, the carnage of war, repression, etc.) more poiniently than anything "original" could have done. It is undoubtedly Tippett's greatest work, and will be the one piece he'd be remembered for in posterity.

lukeottevanger

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2007, 01:43:03 AM »
Anyone know the instrumentation of the 'double string' concerto?

Two string orchestras! I'll check to see if Tippett specifies numbers in the score when I get home.

Been on my annual Tippett binge recently myself. I adore his music above all because it is so human and humane - the kind of music which wears its imperfections without shame, as a kind of badge of its humanity. Tippett is one of the few contemporary composers (generally a pretty cagey breed) whose errors of judgement are really pretty blatant (at least they are generally agreed to be mistakes by most critics and are audible to most listeners as mistakes often aren't) - but in a sense that means that they really don't matter, they are part of the overall 'meaning' of the piece itself. In general I prefer music 'warts and all' anyway, which is [part of] why I love Janacek and also why I love Tippett.

Tippett is a big name, a truly major figure, generous and brave in his ideas and in his music. The pieces I return to, over and over, are the Triple Concerto and its contemporary the 4th String Quartet, the Piano Concerto and its contemporary The Midsummer Marriage, and the afore mentioned Double Concerto; a minor piece I want to recommend because it is great fun is the Sonata for Four Horns.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2007, 01:44:58 AM by lukeottevanger »

Hector

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2007, 05:38:38 AM »
Renewing my acquaintance with this composer during his centenary year was not a happy one.

The 3rd symphony with its bolt-from-the-blue quotation from Beethoven's 9th (the composer admired Beethoven) just showed up the paucity of the previous music and the "spirituals," with words from the composer, are so unconvincing.

The 4th, bedevilled with a studio recording from Solti, is more promising, particularly in the composer's own performance (he, like Britten, was a great conductor of his own music) but I doubt if many would want to hear it all that often.

It is the Corelli Fantasia that seems set to last, one of many in a long line of fine 20th century works for full string band.

Sad, but he sounds rather dated.

karlhenning

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2007, 05:40:47 AM »
It is the Corelli Fantasia that seems set to last, one of many in a long line of fine 20th century works for full string band.

Yes, I think this is especially A Keeper!

pjme

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2007, 01:19:19 AM »
Tippett IS a difficult composer - and thank God that we have difficult composers- there is -at least - substance that sets my thoughts going. His poetry may be not as refined as -say Wislawa Szymborska's - but Tippett -for me - is a deep and truly humanitarian .

"As I drew nurture from my mother's breast,
I drank in sorrow with her milk

As I stood upright on my fathrer's knee
I drank in sorrow with his kiss

Blood of their blood
Bone of their bone
What then is me that was not them?


....

i have a dream
That my strong hand shall grip the cruel
That my strong mouth will kiss the fearful
that my strong arms shall lift the lame
And on my giant legs we'll whirl our way
Over the visionary earth
In mutual celebration.

(from Symphony nr 3)

In 1975 Tippett was in Belgium for the premiere of his third symphony and , later, I bought "Moving into aquarius".(Paladin books 1959-1974)
On page 158 Tippett writes about the verses :

"...But, as Colin Davis pointed out when he first read the verses, the true exemplar is Schiller's contemporary, Blake. these are songs of innocence and experience : two by two. They pose the same fundamental, unanswerable questions about the universe and man's destiny, though their language cannot emulate Blake's incomparable verse"

And : " What is 'out-of-date ' in Schiller's concept of joy is any romantic notion of its universality and inevitability. All that has happened since, in aid of various political utopias, has but deepened the disillusion. Yet if now is our Season in Hell, then when we occasionally celebrate, as we must and if we can , we do so from a deeper need and with a sharper pang".

Tippett's oeuvre is uneven, of course - but it is a fascinating comment on our world - through his imagination.




karlhenning

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2007, 02:35:13 AM »
Though I am still getting better acquainted with more of his work (and so I may alter this opinion later), my impression is that he is rather uneven.  But of course, the important fact is that from such an uneven composer, some great work has been brought into the world.

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2007, 04:14:43 AM »
Quote
"...though their language cannot emulate Blake's incomparable verse"

That's for sure. I really love the 3rd symphony, in spite of the text. I count myself as a big admirer of Tippett, but I have to admit that his output is uneven, and the lowest points in his output are often due to the fact that he's saddled himself to an impossible text of his own devising.

Hector

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2007, 05:48:08 AM »
Though I am still getting better acquainted with more of his work (and so I may alter this opinion later), my impression is that he is rather uneven.  But of course, the important fact is that from such an uneven composer, some great work has been brought into the world.

You are spot on.

Unfortunately, it might be the "death" of him.

Also, he had this hippie-dippie air about him that may have worked in the sixties and seventies but palled in the eighties and nineties.

Having said that, his obvious humanity may sustain interest in his oeuvre.