Author Topic: Tippett's Tearoom  (Read 82191 times)

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #460 on: July 17, 2021, 01:34:21 PM »
That's for posting that analysis. I've always loved the Triple Concerto. And the fact that it has a Bass Oboe part doubly endears it to me. Let's hear it for rarely used but beautifully sounding woodwinds: Piccolo Oboe, Bass Oboe, Eflat Clarinet, Alto Flute, Contrabassoon &c

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #461 on: July 17, 2021, 06:02:37 PM »
Listening to the Triple Concerto today in the warm sunshine.

This post is ridiculously helpful for someone like me. Coming to Tippett for the first time looks as though it may be a fascinating journey, and analyses like these make it easier, more enjoyable, informative and instructive. I almost bought a second hand copy of an analysis of his symphonies this week in London, but there were so many sections of printed score that it put me off. Not reading music puts me at such a disadvantage, and actually makes me realise yet again how little I am grasping of what might be enjoyed in orchestral music, but this sort of step by step guide is outstanding. Not having to wonder exactly which instruments are doing what, and why, is great.

What started as a 9am wake up with Symphony #2, while my wife picked up her brushes, has turned into a lovely day of discovery.

And this is one of the things I miss about our fellow departed member, Luke. Not only was he incredibly knowledgeable about many composers but the amount of passion he poured into his explanations and, in this particular case, analysis was nothing short of amazing. It also helps that he is a composer himself, so, like Karl, he offers a completely different perspective than someone like myself who can read a little bit, but nothing like Luke or Karl. FWIW, Tippett is a tough composer, but I find him completely worthwhile.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #462 on: July 17, 2021, 09:45:10 PM »
And this is one of the things I miss about our fellow departed member, Luke. Not only was he incredibly knowledgeable about many composers but the amount of passion he poured into his explanations and, in this particular case, analysis was nothing short of amazing. It also helps that he is a composer himself, so, like Karl, he offers a completely different perspective than someone like myself who can read a little bit, but nothing like Luke or Karl. FWIW, Tippett is a tough composer, but I find him completely worthwhile.

I make no bones of the fact I struggle with Tippett but an analysis/explanation of a score like that filled with insight and enthusiasm is so helpful and infectious.  I have the Hickox recording of the Triple Concerto but not even a fleeting memory of the work or recording.  But Luke's writing prompts me to revisit is asap.  The other thing it reminds me of yet again is just how skilled a good composer is.  Quite literally every single note and marking has been considered and crafted.  Nothing is accidental.  Even when you as a listener might not respond to a work, you have to respect the care in its creation.

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #463 on: July 18, 2021, 04:09:51 AM »
That's for posting that analysis. I've always loved the Triple Concerto. And the fact that it has a Bass Oboe part doubly endears it to me. Let's hear it for rarely used but beautifully sounding woodwinds: Piccolo Oboe, Bass Oboe, Eflat Clarinet, Alto Flute, Contrabassoon &c

 :) :) :)

And this is one of the things I miss about our fellow departed member, Luke. Not only was he incredibly knowledgeable about many composers but the amount of passion he poured into his explanations and, in this particular case, analysis was nothing short of amazing. It also helps that he is a composer himself, so, like Karl, he offers a completely different perspective than someone like myself who can read a little bit, but nothing like Luke or Karl. FWIW, Tippett is a tough composer, but I find him completely worthwhile.

Passion and insight are always winners. Both have led me to listen to new music because of comments here in recent years. I am reading through the Tippett thread to give me some starting points, but working on the more obviously accessible pieces first while I progress my grasp of the more challenging DSCH SQs. Seeing previous thread commentors being turned on to Tippett by the passion and guidance of others, makes me smile  :)
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
John Waters

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #464 on: July 18, 2021, 04:53:07 AM »
I make no bones of the fact I struggle with Tippett but an analysis/explanation of a score like that filled with insight and enthusiasm is so helpful and infectious.  I have the Hickox recording of the Triple Concerto but not even a fleeting memory of the work or recording.  But Luke's writing prompts me to revisit is asap.  The other thing it reminds me of yet again is just how skilled a good composer is.  Quite literally every single note and marking has been considered and crafted.  Nothing is accidental.  Even when you as a listener might not respond to a work, you have to respect the care in its creation.

Yes, indeed. Tippett knew what he was doing whether one likes the music or not is a completely different matter. I think the works I struggle with the most are the operas with the exception of The Midsummer Marriage, but this one is an early work and composed in that lyrical style he had developed. It seems all of Tippett’s most popular works date from the earlier part of his career: Double Concerto, A Child of Our Time et. al.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #465 on: July 18, 2021, 04:54:29 AM »
Passion and insight are always winners. Both have led me to listen to new music because of comments here in recent years. I am reading through the Tippett thread to give me some starting points, but working on the more obviously accessible pieces first while I progress my grasp of the more challenging DSCH SQs. Seeing previous thread commentors being turned on to Tippett by the passion and guidance of others, makes me smile  :)

This is great to read and if someone can help give you a nudge to check out a work you, otherwise, wouldn’t have, that’s always a good thing.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Offline Iota

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #466 on: July 18, 2021, 09:53:56 AM »
Listening to the Triple Concerto today in the warm sunshine.

This post is ridiculously helpful for someone like me. Coming to Tippett for the first time looks as though it may be a fascinating journey, and analyses like these make it easier, more enjoyable, informative and instructive.

I for one will be interested to read any thoughts/impressions that crop upon your journey. Plenty of Tippett love here, he and Britten are my two favourite British composers.

Nothing interesting to add, but will just say that I think he has one of the most sumptuous orchestral sound worlds of any composer when he's in the mood, beautiful passages litter his symphonies/orchestral pieces/concertos/operas etc, and that he exudes infectious joy as well as austere/introverted complexities in a highly distinctive, personal style, that often speaks very directly to me.
I feel instinctively drawn to him, his sincerity is on a par with composers like Schumann for me .. I absolutely trust him to say what he means, however complex/mystifying/unwieldy it gets. That's perhaps a weird thing to say, but nonetheless it's a real and attractive quality about his music for me. Still getting to know him!
 

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #467 on: July 18, 2021, 05:47:19 PM »
I for one will be interested to read any thoughts/impressions that crop upon your journey. Plenty of Tippett love here, he and Britten are my two favourite British composers.

Nothing interesting to add, but will just say that I think he has one of the most sumptuous orchestral sound worlds of any composer when he's in the mood, beautiful passages litter his symphonies/orchestral pieces/concertos/operas etc, and that he exudes infectious joy as well as austere/introverted complexities in a highly distinctive, personal style, that often speaks very directly to me.
I feel instinctively drawn to him, his sincerity is on a par with composers like Schumann for me .. I absolutely trust him to say what he means, however complex/mystifying/unwieldy it gets. That's perhaps a weird thing to say, but nonetheless it's a real and attractive quality about his music for me. Still getting to know him!

Very well put.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #468 on: July 18, 2021, 05:49:05 PM »
Another work I find quite engrossing by him is the Concerto for Orchestra. The way he uses the instruments in each movement leaves me impressed. He was a real magician at handling the timbres and sonorities of an orchestra.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 05:52:31 PM by Symphonic Addict »
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #469 on: July 18, 2021, 11:09:16 PM »
I for one will be interested to read any thoughts/impressions that crop upon your journey. Plenty of Tippett love here, he and Britten are my two favourite British composers.

Nothing interesting to add, but will just say that I think he has one of the most sumptuous orchestral sound worlds of any composer when he's in the mood, beautiful passages litter his symphonies/orchestral pieces/concertos/operas etc, and that he exudes infectious joy as well as austere/introverted complexities in a highly distinctive, personal style, that often speaks very directly to me.
I feel instinctively drawn to him, his sincerity is on a par with composers like Schumann for me .. I absolutely trust him to say what he means, however complex/mystifying/unwieldy it gets. That's perhaps a weird thing to say, but nonetheless it's a real and attractive quality about his music for me. Still getting to know him!

"I absolutely trust him to say what he means, however complex/mystifying/unwieldy it gets" - can I say I think that's really well put! 

I think that is probably how most people feel about any composer that they feel a particular affinity for.  With me it would probably be Bax.  Absolutely its not a blind love, I don't think everything he wrote is bathed in genius but I do trust him.  So if on a first acquaintance a piece eludes me I'll give it another go, and another....  I feel the same about certain performers as well.  For no great scientific or objective reason, I am willing to believe in what some performers do even when it might seem eccentric..

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #470 on: July 19, 2021, 04:40:15 AM »
I for one will be interested to read any thoughts/impressions that crop upon your journey. Plenty of Tippett love here, he and Britten are my two favourite British composers.

Nothing interesting to add, but will just say that I think he has one of the most sumptuous orchestral sound worlds of any composer when he's in the mood, beautiful passages litter his symphonies/orchestral pieces/concertos/operas etc, and that he exudes infectious joy as well as austere/introverted complexities in a highly distinctive, personal style, that often speaks very directly to me.
I feel instinctively drawn to him, his sincerity is on a par with composers like Schumann for me .. I absolutely trust him to say what he means, however complex/mystifying/unwieldy it gets. That's perhaps a weird thing to say, but nonetheless it's a real and attractive quality about his music for me. Still getting to know him!

I've heard the Triple Concerto twice today in the Hickox version, and am finding it fascinating. I would never describe it as catchy in a traditional sense, but I am finding it compelling listening. Distinctive is an understatement, straight from the gate! I suspect that getting to know this piece of music well, will be really rewarding.

"I absolutely trust him to say what he means, however complex/mystifying/unwieldy it gets" - can I say I think that's really well put! 

I think that is probably how most people feel about any composer that they feel a particular affinity for.  With me it would probably be Bax.  Absolutely its not a blind love, I don't think everything he wrote is bathed in genius but I do trust him.  So if on a first acquaintance a piece eludes me I'll give it another go, and another....  I feel the same about certain performers as well.  For no great scientific or objective reason, I am willing to believe in what some performers do even when it might seem eccentric..

You have an ally in approaching Bax in this way. Revisiting certain pieces that don't immediately resonate for me has been one of the greatest discoveries of recent years - initially dense and I confess, difficult at first, but memorable and powerful once grasped. I trust him to keep on giving once familiarity sets in.
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
John Waters

Offline krummholz

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #471 on: July 19, 2021, 07:20:21 AM »
Back in the day, around the time I was a music student at Michigan, I was quite taken with Tippett's music. I was fascinated by this composer whose style had shifted so drastically over the years. Composition class during the summer, I think of 1976, was a seminar led by Bolcom. One of our assignments was to pick a composer that interested us and present some of his work. Naturally, I picked Tippett. I don't recall all of the works of his that I chose - I'm pretty sure that among them were the Piano Concerto and the 2nd String Quartet, and I think the 2nd Piano Sonata as well. At any rate, of all the works I presented, none made any impression either on Bolcom or my fellow students... until I came to the Knot Garden. Everyone sat enthralled through at least the first 20 minutes. At the time this was definitely NOT my favorite Tippett work, though the opinion of everyone in the room prompted me to listen to it again and again, and after a few hearings I appreciated it much better.

Today I don't even have a recording of any of Tippett's operas, my Tippett collection is pretty thin and consists of the Piano Concerto and all 5 SQs. I had come to the conclusion that he was just not that interesting a composer despite all the shifting styles. Yesterday I re-listened to the 4th SQ and found it fascinating and very effective, and now I think I will have to re-explore his oeuvre. Indeed, I don't think I've ever heard anything else from after 1976 (other than SQs 4 and 5) and am impressed that he continued to compose for many years, until failing eyesight caught up with him.

Offline Iota

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #472 on: July 20, 2021, 11:15:44 AM »
"I absolutely trust him to say what he means, however complex/mystifying/unwieldy it gets" - can I say I think that's really well put! 

I think that is probably how most people feel about any composer that they feel a particular affinity for.  With me it would probably be Bax.  Absolutely its not a blind love, I don't think everything he wrote is bathed in genius but I do trust him.  So if on a first acquaintance a piece eludes me I'll give it another go, and another....  I feel the same about certain performers as well.  For no great scientific or objective reason, I am willing to believe in what some performers do even when it might seem eccentric..

To the bolded, yes, I feel it about performers too. A small point, but a subtle general distinction for me might be that it's less about trusting them to say what they mean, and more that whatever they do it's going to be of interest to me, that it'll show me something worth hearing in the music. A distinction that has only just occurred to me, but I think it's generally true (for me).


Back in the day, around the time I was a music student at Michigan, I was quite taken with Tippett's music. I was fascinated by this composer whose style had shifted so drastically over the years. Composition class during the summer, I think of 1976, was a seminar led by Bolcom. One of our assignments was to pick a composer that interested us and present some of his work. Naturally, I picked Tippett. I don't recall all of the works of his that I chose - I'm pretty sure that among them were the Piano Concerto and the 2nd String Quartet, and I think the 2nd Piano Sonata as well. At any rate, of all the works I presented, none made any impression either on Bolcom or my fellow students... until I came to the Knot Garden. Everyone sat enthralled through at least the first 20 minutes. At the time this was definitely NOT my favorite Tippett work, though the opinion of everyone in the room prompted me to listen to it again and again, and after a few hearings I appreciated it much better.

I think the Knot Garden was the second work I got to know by Tippett, when I was still at school, and I liked it instinctively, without being perhaps sure why. Though like you I haven't listened to it for ages, I only had it on LP and my turntable broke down years ago and isn't being replaced. I don't listen to opera much now these days really, if I do it's live. Unlike you I never lost interest in him as a composer. Glad you've apparently experienced the possible beginnings of a renaissance.  :)

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Tippett's Tearoom
« Reply #473 on: July 27, 2021, 02:30:03 PM »
Hearing the Triple Concerto again this evening, just reminds me how much I like this piece of music, and the way that repeated listens have opened up so many nuances The third movement in particular has something quite captivating.

Having now heard the Decca version and the Chandos back to back on a few occasions, I prefer the latter, I think.
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
John Waters