Saturday, September 29, 2007


As part of my gradual re-curating of links, I have added a 'Michael Tippett Focus' section, to indicate that one of the regular intentions of NewFrontEars is to maintain interest in the late, great and (comparatively) sadly neglected composer - one of my favourites. Eventually I will index some of the key material on this site, with MT material a particular priority. In the meantime, I hope to be able to signal forthcoming performances of his work, live and on the radio. Below is an upcoming R3 broadcast touching on Tippett's life and music.

The Making Of Music – War Again
Monday 8 October 2007
4.00-5.00pm BBC RADIO 3

BBC Radio 3 presents performances of the music James Naughtie mentions in his BBC Radio 4 programmes (3.45-4.00pm) charting the relationship between 1,000 years of history and the classical music that became its soundtrack.

This programme explores the Thirties and those composers who didn't join the artistic diaspora out of Europe, but instead stayed behind to deal with the catastrophe of war.

Dmitri Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony (the Leningrad) was written during the 900-day siege of that city in which 750,000 Russians died.

In Britain, Michael Tippett spent a few years in the Communist Party during the Thirties, but soon lost faith in its creed. On the day war broke out in September 1939, he began to write the oratorio A Child Of Our Time, inspired by the story of the Polish Jew Herschel Grynspan, whose assassination of a German diplomat in Paris in 1938 was one of the causes of Hitler's organised assault on German Jews on Kristallnacht in that year.

As a pacifist and conscientious objector, Tippett was jailed for refusing to undertake war work as an alternative to military service. In A Child Of Our Time, he deals with the question of the outsider, or the group that can't be understood.

Presenter/Louise Fryer, Producer/Anthony Sellors

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