Tippett: Fanfare for Brass; Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles; Fantasia Concertante; Little Music for String O Neville Marriner Primary Artist
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While not exactly {|Tippett|}'s greatest hits, this may be the single disc to get to understand what Tippett is about. His operas are emotionally affecting but symbolically forbidding. His symphonies are half instantly impressive but half virtually unapproachable. His string quartets are possibly too austere. His piano sonatas are probably too muscular. His songs are certainly too few. And his Oratorio A Child of Our Time is surely too much of its time. But this collection is just right for an introduction to Tippett. It starts with the brightly jaunty Fanfare for Brass played with insouciant ebullience by the {|Philip Jones Brass Ensemble|}. It follows that with the wonderfully lyrical and fabulously funny Suite in D for the Birthday of Prince Charles played with aplomb and panache by the {|London Symphony Orchestra|} under {|Colin Davis|}. And it concludes with three lovely works for string orchestra -- the richly nuanced Fantasia Concertante on a theme of Corelli, the immediately endearing Little Music, and the heart-swelling Concerto for double string orchestra -- played with passionate enthusiasm and endless energy by the {|Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields|} under {|Neville Marriner|}. The long-limbed melodies, the lyrical countermelodies, the buoyant rhythms, the joyous harmonies, and the ingenious forms that represent the composer at his best are present in all these works and anyone who enjoys 20th English music but hasn't tried Tippett should give this disc a spin. Decca's 2006 remastering of Argo's '70s stereo sound is crisp, clean, deep, and detailed.


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