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Subject: Re: Sir Michael
From: Apurt <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Apurt <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 15 Jan 1998 21:27:30 EST
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)


Greetings List,

I sent a couple of messages from r.m.o. to Patrick Giles who suggested I share
them with the list.  Sorry for the delal, but I did want to get permission
from the two people.  Both posts have been pasted into this one.  (Part of
Ragbert's may have been included in Cynthia Bussiere's post.)

Ann Purtill
New York City
[log in to unmask]


-------------------FIRST ONE-------------------------
Subject: Sir Michael Tippett
From: [log in to unmask] (Ragbert)
Date: Sat, Jan 10, 1998 18:12 EST
Message-id: <[log in to unmask]>

Hello all--
I received permission from the original poster on another board, who knew
Tippett, to share the following post with you regarding the death Thursday of
this well loved composer.  My only personal experience with Tippett was when
years ago, I sang in a performance of "A Child of Our Time", conducted by
Colin
Davis.  Michael Tippett attended a performance and some rehearsals, and spoke
to us (the chorus) briefly in praise of our singing.  I remember being weak at
the knees just to be on the same stage with him.  I've always been a fan of
his music, and he will be sorely missed.

>From another Tippett fan:
<< It is with much sadness that I must inform you all of Sir Michael Tippett's
passing. He caught pneumonia last November when he journeyed to Stockholm to
attend a festival of his music. He was confined to the hospital for the entire
festival, and was transferred to a hospital in London when he was stable
enough. He was finally able to go home, and he died there Wednesday. He had
just turned 93. He was a wonderful man, full of warmth and humour, and he will
be missed. But his memory and his music will live on.

The following is an excerpt of an email I just received:

Michael passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon, after a brief period of
breathing difficulties.  We are all glad for his sake, as he had become so
weak and he was manifestly clear in his own mind that future would hold very
little for him.  For us, it's nevertheless a devastating blow: he's been in
our lives for so long, his absence is already a shock.

A moment of silence for one the great ones...  >>


--RAG

--------------------------END OF ONE, HERE'S TWO---------

Ragbert wrote in message  [I've snipped the first message]>

Michael Tippett will indeed be sorely missed.  Attending opera and concerts in
London in recent years, the figure of the amazingly youthful composer, coming
on stage at the end to take his applause (usually dressed in outrageously non-
English bright colours and his trademark running shoes) was always moving, and
his support for musical education throughout in his life
contributed enormously to musical life here in England and beyond. It is
fitting that his last appearance in England should have been during the
summer, at a Prom performance of the ritual dances from the Midsummer
Marriage, by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (conducted by Colin
Davis)  It is important to realise that, in England at least, he will be
remembered also for his tremendous moral authority as an individual (and not
just by those of us who share his social and political concerns).

There has been much discussion in the London press about how well his operas
will endure.  The place of the first two seems assured.  To me, The Midsummer
Marriage remains one of the greatest of all operas; I remember as a teenager
getting the Davis recording from the local public library and being absolutely
knocked out by music the like of which I had never heard before.  To this day,
the sheer lyrical abundance, the joy and exuberance of this music have never
paled.  The glorious accesibility of the music cannot conceal the fact that
the libretto is not easy, and needs work (some knowledge of Jung, T S Eliot
and J G Frazer will help), but it is always coherent and never the gibberish
that some have claimed (compare it with Oberon or even Il Trovatore!).  Anyone
reading this who hasn't heard the work should get hold of a recording by any
means possible and prepare to be knocked out.  I defy anyone to hear the great
choral surge which ends the first act, or the final ritual dance, without
being deeply stirred. The ENO production in the mid-eighties - with its Miro-
like sets - remains one of my essential operatic experiences.

Later operas may not have had the same musical fecundity, but - whether
dealing with classical myth (King Priam), family strife and coming of age (The
Knot Garden), revolution and war (The Ice Break) or the essential isolation of
the human condition (New Year), Tippett was never less than profoundly
contemporary and engaged.  Some network somewhere must show "Poets in a barren
age" - the remarkable film Tippett made in the 1960's explaining his own work
and, more pertinently, the role of the artist in the modern world; in the
meantime one can best sign off with Tippett's own description of his artistic
credo, one to which he lived up triumphantly:

"  .... it is only through images that the inner world communicates at all.
Images of the past, shapes of the future.  Images of vigour for a decadent
period, images of calm for one too violent.  Images of reconciliation for
worlds torn by division.  And in an age of mediocrity and shattered dreams,
images of abounding, generous exuberant beauty."

Neil Schofield
Brigthon, England
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