Michael Tippett

Biography

Born: January 2, 1905; England   Died: January 8, 1998; England  
A composer who came to music relatively late in life, Sir Michael Tippett has come to be regarded as one of the most original and important British composers of the twentieth century. Tippett brought a highly individual interpretation to twentieth century neo-Classicism, writing in all the principal genres. His compositions are characterized by a strong rhythmic vitality and a complexity of the basically tonal harmonic language, and were a Read more vehicle for the articulation of his personal views of philosophical, social, and personal issues.

Tippett spent his childhood in Wetherden, a small village in Suffolk where his parents moved shortly after he was born. At the age of 13, he won a scholarship to Fettes College in Edinburgh. However, he disliked Fettes, and in 1920 transferred to Stamford Grammar School in Lincolnshire. Aside from piano lessons, Tippett received no musical training in his childhood. Despite this, after leaving Stamford, he expressed an interest in becoming a composer. At first, he decided to train as a professional pianist, staying on at Stamford so that he could continue to study with Frances Tinkler. However, in the summer of 1923 he left to begin study at London's Royal College of Music. While at the RCM, he studied composition with Charles Wood and C.H. Kitson, as well as piano with Aubin Raymar and conducting with Sargent and Boult.

When he left the RCM in 1928, Tippett settled in Oxted, Surrey. In 1929, he asked to teach French part-time at the local preparatory school. Thus began a series of occupations, which gave him money to live on, as well as some freedom to compose. In 1930, he gave a concert of his own works, which he felt highlighted the relative immaturity of his technique. With this in mind, Tippett began to study counterpoint and free composition with R.O. Morris. Soon after completing his lessons with Morris, in July 1932, Tippett was asked to run the music at an annual work camp in north Yorkshire. Musically, these experiences were positive; however, for Tippett, a political leftist, the miserable conditions encountered at the work-camps inspired an even more radical commitment. Eventually, Tippett came to espouse a strictly pacifist viewpoint. He centered his activities for the unemployed in London at Morley College, where in 1933 he was asked to conduct what later became the South London Orchestra, a group formed specifically to give unemployed musicians the opportunity to continue playing. A year later he also began conducting two choirs which were run by the Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society. In the summer of 1940 the South London Orchestra was disbanded. In October, after Morley College was almost destroyed in an air raid and the director of music was evacuated from London, Tippett was asked to become director of music. In November 1940, Tippett joined the Peace Pledge Union. After he received his call-up papers he registered as a conscientious objector. His case was heard in 1942, and he was ordered to non-combatant military duties. Tippett refused to comply, believing that he could best serve his country as a musician. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment, but qualified for a one-third remission.

In 1951 Tippett resigned from Morley College. Aside from working as a broadcaster at the BBC, he devoted himself entirely to composition. Tippett was knighted in 1966, and in 1979 he was made a Companion of Honour. He died peacefully at home on January 8, 1998. Read less
Tippett: String Quartets 1-4 / Britten Quartet
Release Date: 04/24/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 9257   Number of Discs: 2
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There are 114 Michael Tippett recordings available.

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Works

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Michael Tippett


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Part I: The world turns on its dark side (Chorus)
Part I: The Argument: Man has measured the heavens (Alto)
Part I: Scene: Is evil then good? (Chorus, Alto)
Part I: Now in each nation (Bass)
Part I: Chorus of the Oppressed: When shall the userers' city cease (Chorus)
Part I: I have no money for my bread (Tenor)
Part I: How can I cherish my man in such days (Soprano)
Part I: A Spiritual: Steal away (Chorus, Soprano, Tenor)
Part II: A star rises in mid-winter (Chorus)
Part II: And a time came (Bass)
Part II: Double Chorus of Persecutors and Persecuted: Away with them! (Double Chorus)
Part II: Where they could, they fled (Bass)
Part II: Chorus of the Self-righteous: We cannot have them in our Empire (Chorus)
Part II: And the boy's mother wrote a letter (Bass)
Part II: Scene: O my son! (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Part II: A Spiritual: Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord (Chorus, Soprano, Tenor)
Part II: Scene: The boy becomes desperate in his agony (Bass, Alto)
Part II: They took a terrible vengeance (Bass)
Part II: The Terror: Burn down their houses! (Chorus)
Part II: Men were ashamed of what was done (Bass)
Part II: A Spiritual of Anger: Go down, Moses (Chorus, Bass)
Part II: The boy sings in his prison: My dreams are all shattered (Tenor)
Part II: What have I done to you, my son? (Soprano)
Part II: The dark forces rise like a flood (Alto)
Part II: A Spiritual: O, by and by (Chorus, Soprano)
Part III: The cold deepens (Chorus)
Part III: The soul of man (Alto)
Part III: Scene: The words of wisdom are these (Bass, Chorus)
Part III: General Ensemble: I would know my shadow and my light (Chorus, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Part III: A Spiritual: Deep river (Chorus, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
No. 1. Steal away
No. 2. Nobody knows
No. 3. Go down, Moses
No. 4. By and by
No. 5. Deep river
I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio cantabile
III. Allegro molto
Magnificat
Nunc dimittis
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 1. Intrada
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 2. Berceuse
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 3. Procession & Dance
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 4. Carol
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 5. Finale
WORKS
Part I: The world turns on its dark side (Chorus)
Part I: The Argument: Man has measured the heavens (Alto)
Part I: Scene: Is evil then good? (Chorus, Alto)
Part I: Now in each nation (Bass)
Part I: Chorus of the Oppressed: When shall the userers' city cease (Chorus)
Part I: I have no money for my bread (Tenor)
Part I: How can I cherish my man in such days (Soprano)
Part I: A Spiritual: Steal away (Chorus, Soprano, Tenor)
Part II: A star rises in mid-winter (Chorus)
Part II: And a time came (Bass)
Part II: Double Chorus of Persecutors and Persecuted: Away with them! (Double Chorus)
Part II: Where they could, they fled (Bass)
Part II: Chorus of the Self-righteous: We cannot have them in our Empire (Chorus)
Part II: And the boy's mother wrote a letter (Bass)
Part II: Scene: O my son! (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Part II: A Spiritual: Nobody knows the trouble I see, Lord (Chorus, Soprano, Tenor)
Part II: Scene: The boy becomes desperate in his agony (Bass, Alto)
Part II: They took a terrible vengeance (Bass)
Part II: The Terror: Burn down their houses! (Chorus)
Part II: Men were ashamed of what was done (Bass)
Part II: A Spiritual of Anger: Go down, Moses (Chorus, Bass)
Part II: The boy sings in his prison: My dreams are all shattered (Tenor)
Part II: What have I done to you, my son? (Soprano)
Part II: The dark forces rise like a flood (Alto)
Part II: A Spiritual: O, by and by (Chorus, Soprano)
Part III: The cold deepens (Chorus)
Part III: The soul of man (Alto)
Part III: Scene: The words of wisdom are these (Bass, Chorus)
Part III: General Ensemble: I would know my shadow and my light (Chorus, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Part III: A Spiritual: Deep river (Chorus, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
No. 1. Steal away
No. 2. Nobody knows
No. 3. Go down, Moses
No. 4. By and by
No. 5. Deep river
Tippett: Boyhood's End - What, then did I want? What did I ask to have?
Tippett: Boyhood's End - To rise each morning and to look out on the sky...
Tippett: Boyhood's End - To climb trees and put my hand down in the deep hot nest of the Bienteveo...
Tippett: Boyhood's End - To ride at noon on the hottest days...
Tippett: Boyhood's End - To lie on my back on the rust-brown grass in January
I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio cantabile
III. Allegro molto
I. Allegro
II. Lento
III. Allegro molto
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Molto lente e tranquillo
III. Vivace
I. Medium fast -
II. Interlude: Medium slow -
III. Very slow, calmer still -
IV. Interlude: Medium fast -
V. Medium fast
Divertimento on 'Sellinger's Round': I. Allegro
Divertimento on 'Sellinger's Round': II. A Lament (Andante espressivo)
Divertimento on 'Sellinger's Round': III. Presto
Divertimento on 'Sellinger's Round': IV. Adagio
Divertimento on 'Sellinger's Round': V. Allegro assai
Act I: Prelude (Chorus)
Act I Scene 1: What is it, Nurse? (Hecuba, Nurse, Priam)
Act I Scene 1: Old man of Troy, you're welcome (Priam, Old Man)
Act I Scene 1: Then am I no longer mother to this child (Hecuba, Old Man)
Act I Scene 1: A father and a King (Priam)
Act I Scene 1: The Queen is right (Priam)
Act I Interlude 1: Thus shall a story begin (Nurse, Old Man, Young Guard)
Act I Scene 2: The bull is away over there (Huntsmen, Hector, Priam)
Act I Scene 2: They have taken my bull (Paris, Hector),
Act I Scene 2: Father, he's a shepherd boy (Hector, Priam, Paris)
Act I Scene 2: So I'd hoped it might be (Priam, Old Man)
Act I Interlude 2: Ah, but life, life is a bitter charade (Nurse, Young Guard, Old Man, Wedding Guests)
Act I Scene 3: Ah, ah ... (Helen, Paris)
Act I Scene 3: Divine go-between, that's who I am (Hermes, Paris)
Act 1 Scene 3: Lady Athene, if I honour you ... (Paris, Athene)
Act I Scene 3: Lady Hera, if I honour you ... (Paris, Hera, Hermes)
Act I Scene 3: Aphrodite, if I honour you ... (Paris, Aphrodite, Hera, Athene, Hermes)
Act II Scene 1: So you've given up fighting! (Hector, Priam)
Act II Scene 1: So Trojans honour Menelaus ... (Priam, Paris)
Act II Interlude 1: Hermes, Hermes, with the winged feet come quick! (Old Man, Hermes)
Act II Scene 2: O rich-soiled land (Achilles)
Act II Scene 2: Why are weeping, Patroclus? (Achilles, Patroclus)
Act II Interlude 2: O, O, what a threat to Troy (Old Man, Hermes)
Act II Scene 3: A hero in Achilles' armour ... (Hermes, Paris, Priam)
Act II Scene 3: All Trojans, all fought bravely (Hector, Priam, Paris, Achilles, Old Man)
Magnificat
Nunc dimittis
I. The Space Ship Lands
II. Prelude
III. The Shaman Dance
IV. The Hunt for the Scapegoat
V. Donny's Skarade
VI. Donny's Dream
VII. Dream Interlude
VIII. Jo Ann's Dreamsong
IX. Love Scene for Jo Ann and Pelegrin
X. Paradise Dance
XI. The Beating-Out of the Scapegoat
XII. Ringing in the New Year
XIII. The Space Ship takes off again
Tippett: String Quartet No.1 - 1. Allegro
Tippett: String Quartet No.1 - 2. Lento cantabile
Tippett: String Quartet No.1 - 3. Allegro assai
Tippett: String Quartet No.2 - 1. Allegro grazioso
Tippett: String Quartet No.2 - 2. Andante
Tippett: String Quartet No.2 - 3. Presto
Tippett: String Quartet No.2 - 4. Allegro appassionato
Tippett: String Quartet No.3 - 1. Grave e sostenuto - Allegro moderato
Tippett: String Quartet No.3 - 2. Andante
Tippett: String Quartet No.3 - 3. Allegro molto e con brio
Tippett: String Quartet No.3 - 4. Lento
Tippett: String Quartet No.3 - 5. Allegro comodo
Tippett: Sonata for Four Horns - 1. Allegro molto moderato
Tippett: Sonata for Four Horns - 2. Allegro giocoso
Tippett: Sonata for Four Horns - 3. Lento cantabile tranquillo in stile notturno
Tippett: Sonata for Four Horns - 4. Allegro molto e vigoroso
I. Allegro
II. Andante tranquillo
III. Presto
IV. Rondo giocoso con moto
Tippett: Piano Sonata No.3 - 1. Allegro -
Tippett: Piano Sonata No.3 - 2. Lento -
Tippett: Piano Sonata No.3 - 3. Allegro vivace
No. 1. Early One Morning [England]
No. 2. Lilliburlero [Ireland]
No. 3. Poortith cauld [Scotland]
No. 4. Gwenllian [Wales]
Tippett: Songs for Ariel - Come Unto These Yellow Sands
Tippett: Songs for Ariel - Full Fathom Five
Tippett: Songs for Ariel - Where The Bee Sucks
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 1. Intrada
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 2. Berceuse
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 3. Procession & Dance
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 4. Carol
Tippett: Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles - 5. Finale
I. Allegro vigoroso, quasi alla breve
II. Adagio
III. Presto
IV. Allegro moderato ma con brio e piu tarde con delicatezza
I. Allegro vigoroso
II. Adagio molto e tranquillo
III. Presto veloce
IV. Allegro moderato
Part I: Allegro non troppo e pesante -
Part I: Lento
Part II: Allegro molto -
Part II: Slow Blues. Andante: As I drew nurture from my mother's breast -
Part II: Fast Blues. Allegro: O, I'll go walking ... -
Part II: Slow Blues. Largo: I found the man grown to a dwarf -
Part II: Pochissimo meno mosso: They sang that when she waved her wings...
Introduction and Exposition: Tempo I -
Development 1: Tempo III -
Slow Movement: Tempo I -
Development 2: Tempo II -
Scherzo and Trios: Tempo III -
Tempo I - Development 3 -
Recapitulation
I. Transforming: Medium Slow - Slow
II. Juggling: Very Slow
III. Dreaming: Fast
Tippett: The Heart's Assurance - 1. Song
Tippett: The Heart's Assurance - 2. The Heart's Assurance
Tippett: The Heart's Assurance - 3. Compassion
Tippett: The Heart's Assurance - 4. The Dancer
Tippett: The Heart's Assurance - 5. Remember your Lovers
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 1:"Confrontation" - "So, If I Dream"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 1:"Confrontation" - "What Is It You Do To Flora?"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 1:"Confrontation" - "You Can Pick Roses"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 1:"Confrontation" - "If You Think We're Waxworks, You Ought To Play"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 1:"Confrontation" - "Ca - Ca - Caliban"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 1:"Confrontation" - "O, You Stare In Horror"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 1:"Confrontation" - "Do, Do Not, Do Not Torment Me"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 2:"Labyrinth" - "Fear! What Do I Fear?"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 2:"Labyrinth" - "Flora: Flora, Love; Stop Crying"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 2:"Labyrinth" - "I Was Born In a Big Town"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "You Must Both Hold With Me"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "Ugh-Ugh-Ugh. -Whatever Is That?"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "Two Unruly Spirits Born!"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "Mel! O Crude, O Obscene"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "And What Are You, Mangus?"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "I Am No More Afraid"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "Goodbye Island: Goodbye Cave"
Tippett: The Knot Garden / Act 3:"Charade" - "Enough! Enough!"
Medium fast -
The Lake begins to sing: Slow -
Fast -
The Lake Song is echoed from the sky: Slow
Fast - Medium slow -
The Lake is in full song: Slow -
Medium slow - Medium fast -
Medium slow -
The Lake Song leaves the sky: Slow -
Fast -
The Lake sings itself to sleep: Medium slow -
Calm - Medium fast


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