|The midsummer marriage. Lyrita SRCD.2217
(2CD), full price. More info. |
This was Tippett's first opera, and in my opinion the best of them all.
It's also a very long opera (over 2 1/2 half hours), but it is not too long.
It was written during the 50's. I believe this is the only complete recording
of this opera, but since this recording is as good as it is, I don't consider
that to be a problem. This is a very good recording on all accounts. The sound
is very good, and the performances are excellent. Sir Colin Davis is a very
good Tippett conductor, and both of his opera recordings are highly
recommended. This recording is a must for all who are interested in Tippett's
Read a summary here
|King Priam. Chandos CHAN 9406/7 (2CD),
full price.Released 1995. More info.|
This opera has its story from the Greek mythology and famous Greek characters
of that time. It's a "typical" Greek drama. The recording itself is
very good, and the same is the sound. I am very pleased with the performance.
This is also the only recording available of this opera (as it is with most of
his operas). It's a very good opera, and I like it very much. This is maybe
not an opera for newcomers in the world of opera, but maybe for those who has
heard some before. With its story being as it is, I would love to see this
opera on stage. With battles and lots of action, it would be an opera worth
|The Knot garden & A child of our
time. Philips 446 331-2 (2CD), full price. Released 1995. More
This was Tippett's third opera, and it sound much more "modern and
contemporary" than his two first. It also includes some unusual
instruments not normally used in an opera. I would prefer his first two opera
before this one. I have never enjoyed this opera as much as I have done with
the first two. The coupling, on the other hand, is my favourite Tippett
composition. I believe he has written nothing more beautiful and moving than
his oratorio A child of Our time. This recording is an excellent one. If you
don't like this opera, get it anyway. It's a marvellous recording of A child
of our time on this CD. So, all in all, this is a highly recommended CDset.
|The Ice break. Virgin Classics 0777
7590482 6, full price. Recorded 1990. Total 74:09. More
This is maybe his most controversial opera. He deals with racism and
relations between blacks and whites in the USA. His use of language is also
rather "colourful". This is the only composition I know of where
they sing "You mother-fucking bastard". He also uses several unusual
stage effects like sirens and gun shots. This is also a "modern and
contemporary" opera, so it isn't as accessible as his two first. I do
like this one better than The Knot garden. The subject of this opera is still
very important, and will be for a long time (I am afraid).
No complete recording yet,
only a recording of the suite. Read about this suite some other place on this
page. It has been released on video though.
|A Child of
Our Time. Chandos CHAN 9123, full price. Recorded 1992. More
A Child of Our Time is Tippett's most famos work. It's not a very
complicated work for the listener, you get fascinated by the first note. His
use of negro spirituals is also awesome. Richard Hickox, Chandos and Tippett
is a great combination. This is a very good recording and should be in the
shelf of every Tippett fan. Also, don't be afraid to get duplicate recordings
of this work. It's worth it...
|A Child of
Our Time. BBC Radio Classics BBCRD 9130, budget price. Released in 1995. More
This is my third recording of this work. This the cheapest Child I know
about but it can be difficult to get hold of. This label has stoped excisting
and it's only "leftovers" available today, if you can get it at all.
Grab if it you find it in a shop, it's well worth your money. It's a very good
recording. The Hickox and Davis recordings are a little bit better though.
It's a very recommended CD and it's also a cheaper alternative to the other
recordings. If you can find it, that is.
|The mask of time. EMI CMS 7 64711 2
(2CD), mid price. Recorded 1986. More info. |
It's difficult to say what kind of composition this is. It's not a mass or
an oratorio, Tippett himself called it "for voices and instruments".
The work is in two parts, with one more mythological and one more historical.
This work is maybe not as accessible as the Child, but it's still very much
worth listening to it. It's a very good recording, and you don't hear much
audience noise. The sound is also good. Maybe not my favourite Tippett work,
but it's still a very good one.
|Symphony no.1 & Piano concerto.
Chandos CHAN 9333, full price. Recorded 1994. More info
Tippett's first symphony is one of his more accessible pieces. It's a four
movement symphony. I have enjoyed this symphony very much, and it's a very
good piece of music. I haven't quite got the grip on the piano concert yet, so
I won't comment much on it. Hickox's Tippett series on Chandos are very good,
and this CD is no exception. It's very good performances from both orchestra
and soloist. A highly recommended recording.
|Symphony no. 2 & Suite from New
Year. Chandos CHAN 9299, full price. Recorded 1994. More
This is also a traditional four movement symphony. It's also a very
accessible piece, so both the First and the Second symphony are works I can
recommend to new Tippettians. The other work on this CD is the suite from the
opera New Year. It's an opera from the future -Terror town, located
"somewhere today". It's a very violent city, and the main characters
are trying to cope with life as well as they can. This opera also includes
space voyagers, who are there to help the main characters. This opera is very
much about violence, and some of the music are rather disturbing. It's not
easy to sit and listen to the music when it is characterising someone who are
beaten without meaning (blind violence). This suite is based on music from the
opera, but is constructed as an independent concert work. I like much of the
music, and I am very sorry that there are no recording of this opera yet. This
is the only Tippett opera that hasn't been recorded yet. If the opera is as
good as the suite, I can really recommend it to everyone! I am deeply
impressed with the suite.
|Symphony no. 3 & Præludium. Chandos
CHAN 9276, full price.Recorded 1993. More info. |
Tippett's Third symphony is maybe the most famous of the four. It's in two
parts, and includes several unusual features. As far as I know, this is the
only symphony that uses blues as a part of the musical language. It's also his
only symphony that includes voice. It works very well, and I like it. It's
different from his first two symphonies, but Tippett make it work very well.
He also quote from Beethoven's 9th symphony, also something that work very
well (track 8). I have enjoyed this symphony very much, but not as much as his
two first. All in all, a highly recommended CD. The performance is
outstanding, as it is with all these four symphony CDs.
|Symphony no. 4; Fantasia concertante on
a theme of Corelli; Fantasia on a theme of Händel. Chandos CHAN 9233, full
price. Released 1993. More info. |
Tippett's Fourth symphony is the first Tippett CD I bought, and I haven't
regretted it yet. The symphony itself are very good (a one-movement symphony),
but the two fantasias are also terrific. I especially like the Corelli
fantasy. It's a very beautiful theme, and Tippett does some very good things
with it. He uses two short extracts from the first movement of Corelli's
Concerto grosso no. 2 in F. It's one of Tippett's most famous pieces. The Händel
fantasy is lesser known, but it's also a very good one. It's scored for piano
and orchestra. The booklet say nothing were in Händel's music he found the
theme. This CD is the one I have been listening most to of the four symphony
CDs. It's mostly because of the two fantasias. This is, as with the other
three, a highly recommended CD.
| Symphony no. 4 & Byzantium. Decca 433 668-2, full price. Released 1993. More
This is a very good CD. It opens with Byzantium, a work for orchestra and
soprano. It is one of Tippett's late works, commissioned by the Chicago
symphony orchestra in 1991. It was premiered by the same forces who performs
on this CD. I like this work very much. Tippett found the lyrics from a poem
by W. B. Yates. The other work on this CD is his 4th symphony recorded back in
1979. It's especially fitting that these two works are coupled together as
they both were commission by the same orchestra. Solti's 4th is a very good
recording and it's highly recommended. If you already have a 4th in your
collection buy this CD anyway because of Byzantium. It's worth it.
no. 2 & 4. BBC Music Magazine BBC MM 130. Released 1995. More
According to the brief introduction to this disc, it's informed that this
is the last recordings conducted by the composer himself. That make this disc
a historical one. This was the very first Tippett recordings I got. It came
with BBC Music Magazine so it might be a little difficult to get hold of it
today. I thought this was strange music the first time I listened to it and at
the time I hadn't even heard about him at all. I love this music now but I
didn't then. It wa a while later that I got to Tippett's music and it was a
revelation to go back to this CD and hear what I had been missing. It's a
wonderful CD and since it's Tippett himself who conducts, it's essential CDs.
I don't know about other symphony recordings by the composer himself.
Concerto and Concerto for Orchestra. Chandos CHAN 9384, full price. Released
1995. More info.|
This music is very new to me. I came late to his non-symphonical orchestral
works. Late, but good. This is excellent music. It's not boring but full of
life and fun. Just listen to the first 40 seconds of the 4th movement of the
Triple Concerto and you'll smile too. This is indeed great music. The Concerto
for Orchestra is of equal high class. This is Tippett at his best. A highly
orchestral works. Chandos CHAN 9409. Released 1995. More
The Divertimento on Sellinger's Round opens this CD and it's so beautiful
that it almost brings tears to my eyes. Sellinger's Round is an anonoymous
16th century melody. Tippett's involment with this melody arouse from an
occasional piece made for the 1953 Aldeburgh festival. By Britten's initiativ,
several composers contributed a variaton on this melody, Britten and Tippett
included. Tippett got so fascinated by this that he wanted to compose a major
work out of it. The result is breath taking. This is not the only masterpiece
on this CD. The other works are also first class. The Concerto for Double
String Orchestra is a real gem. So is the Little Music for String Orchestra. I
am more reserved about The Heart's Assurance. It's first class recordings and
it's a highly recommended CD.
Lake & The Vision of St. Augustine. Conifer 7 5605 51304 2. Released 1997.
This is a very exciting CD. The Rose Lake is Tippett's very last orchestral
work It's actually less than six years since he composed it (premiered May
1993). This work was inspired by a holiday in Senegal in 1990 where he visited
the local lake Le Lac Rose (The Rose Lake). This work is not a description of
the lake, but more his feelings. It's a marvelous work, it's even more special
at his age, he was 88 years old in 1993. No senility there... The other work
on this CD, The Vision of St. Augustine. Augustine fascinated Tippett, so it
was just right that Tippett wrote music inspired by him. I am not sure whether
it's Tippett or Augustine who wrote the lyrics to this work. It's in Latin.
It's conducted by the composer and wonderfully sung by John Shirley-Quirk.
|Songs by Michael Tippett. Hyperion CDA
66749, full price. Released 1994. More info. |
Tippett has not written a lot of songs, and all of his original songs
included on this CD are all premiered between 1945 and 1961. There are three
song cycles (two with piano and one with guitar). I have to admit that his
songs are not among my favourite works. I like the Songs for Ariel very much,
but not so much Songs for Achilles and The Heart's assurance. The Purcell
songs on the other hand, are all very good. All the music is very well
|The 5 string quartets. ASVCD DCS 231,
2CD, full price. More info. |
This is the first complete series of Tippett's string quartets (Chandos has
recently completed their recordings of the five Quartets). Tippett wrote his
first three string quartet between 1934 and 1946, and then he waited for 32
years until no. 4. and then another 13 years before he completed the last one.
So when you are listening to the first and the last quartets, you are hearing
two different Tippett's. I like all of his string quartets, and it's highly
recommended music to be listening to. The Lindsay's worked together with
Tippett during their preparations for these recordings, so there is a kind of
authenticity around these recordings that other recordings can't get. They
have performed very well on this 2CD, and I can strongly recommend this
recording to everyone who are interested in good chamber music.
The Nimbus Recordings. Nimbus NI 1759, 4CD, budget price. Released 1998. More
There is only one thing to say about this box: Buy it! This
box contains a mix of Tippett's famous and less famous music. Many of these
works are also conducted by the composer, which make it a must-have for all us
Tippettians (among the works he conducts is the Triple and Piano concertos).
This box is self recommending.
details on the partisipants in these recordings.