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Sir Michael Tippett's Symphony in B flat


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Author Topic: Sir Michael Tippett's Symphony in B flat  (Read 413 times)
Dundonnell
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« on: November 26, 2016, 10:16:54 pm »

Sir Michael Tippett, in common with many other composers, effectively suppressed a large number of early compositions. In fact the Concerto for Double String Orchestra, composed between 1938 and 1939, when Tippett was 34 is the earliest orchestral piece we hear today. The String Quartet No.1 of 1934-35 was revised in 1943 and the Piano Sonata No.1 of 1936-38 also survive as part of the acknowledged body of his compositions. Most of the music he composed between the mid 1920s and late 1930s however remained in manuscript and some of these pieces are lost-including a Concerto in D for flutes, oboe, horn and strings from 1928-30.

One early work which has survived is the Symphony in B flat composed between 1933 and 1934. Tippett rejected this early symphony as "too Sibelian".

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins has embarked on a Tippett symphonic cycle with both public performances and recordings for Hyperion. I was fortunate enough to attend the performance of the Symphony No.1 in Glasgow on Thursday. The first symphony is not often performed (this was only its fourth performance in Scotland and its first since 1975) but it is a powerful work and I think that Brabbins gave a better, more passionate rendering than either Sir Colin Davis or Richard Hickox in the two versions that are available on cd. It certainly augers well for the Hyperion recording.

What is also exciting however is that there will be at least a public performance at some point (which will be broadcast) of the Symphony in B flat. The Tippett Foundation has given its agreement to the revival of the early Symphony.

Over the last few years we have been able to hear for the first time a lot of the early music of a number of British composers-Vaughan Williams has been an obvious example-and the rediscovery of such early music has gone a long way to expand and enhance our knowledge of the development of these composers' music. Hearing the early Tippett symphony should be, at the very least, an interesting experience.
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Latvian
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 01:22:17 am »

Wonderful news! Looking forward to the early symphony!
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Gauk
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 10:42:19 am »

I find early Tippett much more interesting than late Tippett!
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 04:04:12 pm »

I find early Tippett much more interesting than late Tippett!

As-unsurprisingly Grin-do I.
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ahinton
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 05:08:38 pm »

Tippett's not the only English composer to have written an early and unnumbered Symphony in B flat. Another who did so around a quarter century after Tippett's was much later to write a tribute to Tippett for his 80th birthday in the form of a short work for string quartet.

Guess who!
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 06:28:04 pm »

Tippett's not the only English composer to have written an early and unnumbered Symphony in B flat. Another who did so around a quarter century after Tippett's was much later to write a tribute to Tippett for his 80th birthday in the form of a short work for string quartet.

Guess who!

I am guessing that it could well have been you, Alistair Huh Although are you not described as a "Scottish composer" Huh
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ahinton
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2016, 06:47:09 pm »

Tippett's not the only English composer to have written an early and unnumbered Symphony in B flat. Another who did so around a quarter century after Tippett's was much later to write a tribute to Tippett for his 80th birthday in the form of a short work for string quartet.

Guess who!

I am guessing that it could well have been you, Alistair Huh
Oh, heavens no, not me! Had it been me, I'd have had to have exhibited extreme precocity! (and, in any case, I have yet to write a symphony in or no in any key whatsoever!). The symphony concerned was written in the late 1950s / early 1960s, as far as I recall (and in any case I did not compose such a tribute for quartet in the 1980s either).

Although are you not described as a "Scottish composer" Huh
Well, I'm certainly not an English one!
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 10:57:47 pm »

Ok....my apologies Grin  (I was counting from the date of the Tippett Symphony No.1 instead of the Tippett Symphony in B flat Roll Eyes)

So....late 1950s/early 1960s. English composer. Early work, composed with a key signature. Presumably born then in the 1930s.

........oh, this is SO annoying!! I cannot think who it could be Roll Eyes

You wouldn't care to drop another clue, would you Huh
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ahinton
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 07:14:02 am »

Ok....my apologies Grin  (I was counting from the date of the Tippett Symphony No.1 instead of the Tippett Symphony in B flat Roll Eyes)

So....late 1950s/early 1960s. English composer. Early work, composed with a key signature. Presumably born then in the 1930s.

........oh, this is SO annoying!! I cannot think who it could be Roll Eyes

You wouldn't care to drop another clue, would you Huh
Just a whisker after the 1930s, since you ask! Hope that helps!
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autoharp
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 01:27:15 pm »

Phew! Not Sorabji then!
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 03:05:50 pm »

Ok....my apologies Grin  (I was counting from the date of the Tippett Symphony No.1 instead of the Tippett Symphony in B flat Roll Eyes)

So....late 1950s/early 1960s. English composer. Early work, composed with a key signature. Presumably born then in the 1930s.

........oh, this is SO annoying!! I cannot think who it could be Roll Eyes

You wouldn't care to drop another clue, would you Huh
Just a whisker after the 1930s, since you ask! Hope that helps!

Not in the slightest, I am afraid.
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ahinton
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 06:04:30 pm »

Phew! Not Sorabji then!
Good grief no!
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ahinton
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 06:05:57 pm »

Ok....my apologies Grin  (I was counting from the date of the Tippett Symphony No.1 instead of the Tippett Symphony in B flat Roll Eyes)

So....late 1950s/early 1960s. English composer. Early work, composed with a key signature. Presumably born then in the 1930s.

........oh, this is SO annoying!! I cannot think who it could be Roll Eyes

You wouldn't care to drop another clue, would you Huh
Just a whisker after the 1930s, since you ask! Hope that helps!

Not in the slightest, I am afraid.
OK. Well, the composer is still alive but has written no other symphonies. Hows about that then?
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calyptorhynchus
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 07:32:41 pm »

Can we call this one Tippett's Symphony No.0?
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ahinton
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 10:33:11 pm »

Can we call this one Tippett's Symphony No.0?
I don't particularly see why not...
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