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Tippett: A Child of Our Time - Davis

Tippett: A Child of Our Time - Davis

Chandos  CHSA 5341

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Vocal


Pumeza Matshikiza (soprano)
Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo)
Joshua Stewart (tenor)
Ashley Riches (bass-baritone)
BBC Symphony Chorus#
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)


Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time was composed between 1939 and 1942 as a direct response to the events leading up to (and including) the notorious Kristallnacht, in November 1938, in National Socialist Germany. Tippet first intended to write an opera, but quickly determined that this would inevitably be too literal, and that the (rather neglected) oratorio form lent greater scope for reflective and meditative interjections to the narrative. Hoping to persuade his friend and mentor T.S. Elliot to write the libretto, he sent the poet such an intricately detailed plan that Elliot responded by suggesting that Tippett, having thought so carefully about it, prepare the text himself – which he duly did. (He then went on to write his own libretti for all his future large vocal works). Set for choir, orchestra, and four soloists, the work adopts a structure that owes a debt to Handel’s Messiah, which Tippett had studied intensively in the 1930s. In addition, Tippett wanted to incorporate choral interludes much as Bach had done in his passions. Rejecting Lutheran chorals and Jewish hymns, he finally settled on African-American spirituals of which he placed five within the work. Sir Andrew Davis conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with an exceptional quartet of soloists. The album was recorded in Surround Sound in Croydon’s Fairfield Halls following live performances in London’s Royal Festival Hall, and is available as a Hybrid SACD and in Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio.

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Comment by John Bacon-Shone - April 30, 2024 (1 of 1)

Looking forward to this (final?) recording by Andrew Davis. I hope that they recorded the double concerto as well for release later if not here, as that is another wonderful piece of music.