A Child of our times, by Michael Tippett.

This is a great and very considerable twentieth century secular Cantata composed in the grave years between 1939 and 1941. It’s premier took place on the 19th of March 1944 at the Adelphi theartre in London. It was an immediate success, and has kept in the repertoire ever since. Tippett, was a life long pacifist (refusing to fight in the 2nd world war) and a leading member of the gay community (both leading to the fact that he was only knighted late in his life, but chose not to be known as Sir Michael Tippett) He was appalled by the assassination of a German diplomat by a young Jewish Refugee called Herschel Grymzpan in 1938, he felt forced to do it after watching his family, especially his sister being killed in front of him. The assassination lead directly to the Kristallnacht attacks on Jewish people in Germany. Tippett theme is that no child should have to go through these nightmare events. He universalized the story, and incorporated some of the best orchestrations of Afro-American spirituals that have ever been made. As it is the month against abuse of children and women, I have decided to play one of the spirituals from the work (though if you can give the whole work a listen, it really is worth while), so please enjoy this peace with thanks to Veritas and YouTube :


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