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Born: 1905, London, U.K.Died: 1998, London

"Like many other composers, from Berlioz to Gershwin, I have found myself stretching performers in ways they hadn't imagined."

Tippett was one of the great heroes of 20th-century English music. Well-connected to the British musical establishment, he composed major works in every traditional genre - operas, oratorios, symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas, and songs. His early style was influenced by Beethoven and English renaissance and baroque music. With his second opera, King Priam (1958-61), Tippett began experimenting idiosyncratically with orchestration and form, working towards a "mosaic of musical gestures" rather than extended Beethovenian developments. He simplified much of this in his later music, creating a personal synthesis of refined poise.

Further listening:

A Child of Our Time (oratorio, 1939-41) Soloists, London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Hickox (Chandos)