Thursday, 2 August 2012

More on Tippett, A Child of our Time Prom 25

As promised, Here's an extract of Claire Seymour's review of Michael Tippett's A Child of Our Time Prom 25/Robertson in Opera Today.

"Tippett’s masterstroke was to include within his universal reflections and specific narrative, five Negro spirituals: “I felt I had to express collective feelings and that could only be done by collective tunes such as Negro spirituals, for these tunes contain a deposit of generations of common experience.” (Tippett, ‘Poets in a barren age’, in Moving into Aquarius (London: Palladin, 1974), p.152.). But, it was also a decision which resulted in an inherent technical and aesthetic difficulty: how to successfully assimilate a sophisticated western classical idiom with the simple, pure language of the spiritual?"

"The problem of integrating opposing musical genres was not entirely overcome in this stirring and uplifting performance by the BBC Proms Youth Choir - the massed forces of several UK youth choirs who, having attended an intensive course in Birmingham, were brought together with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson."

Incidentally this Prom was the first major London event for Simon Halsey, who for so many years conducted (and still does) The CBSO Choir and the Berliner Philharmoniker Choir.  On this form, he should raise the stakes in London, too (more here)

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