Tippett: A Child of Our Time; The Weeping Babe

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LABELS: Karussell
WORKS: A Child of Our Time; The Weeping Babe
PERFORMER: Elsie Morison, April Cantelo (soprano), Pamela Bowden (contralto), Richard Lewis (tenor), Richard Standen (bass)RLPO & Choir/John Pritchard; John Alldis Choir/Colin Davis
CATALOGUE NO: 461 123-2 ADD(1958/68)
Pritchard’s beautifully paced performance of A Child of Our Time was recorded as long ago as 1958, but the sound remains perfectly acceptable. Inspired by the dilemmas induced by Nazi atrocities following an assassination, Tippett wrote his ‘modern oratorio’ at great speed soon after the outbreak of war. He uses a series of spirituals, which are equivalent to the chorales in a Bach Passion. Pritchard gives emphasis to the essential lyricism of the score, and his soloists are particularly sympathetic. The bonus item is another wartime piece, the Edith Sitwell setting The Weeping Babe, superbly sung by the John Alldis Choir. Terry Barfoot