The Music and Thought of Michael Tippett - Modern Times and Metaphysics View larger

The Music and Thought of Michael Tippett - Modern Times and Metaphysics



This multi-faceted study looks in detail at the music and thought of Michael Tippett.

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£ 75.00

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David Clarke

Tippett is often cast as a composer with a strong visionary streak, but what does that mean for a twentieth-century artist? In this multi-faceted study, David Clarke explores Tippett’s complex creative imagination - its dialogue between a romantic’s aspirations to the ideal and absolute, and a modernist’s sceptical realism. He shows how the musical formations of works such as The Midsummer Marriage, King Priam, and The Vision of Saint Augustine resonate with the aesthetic and theoretical ideas of key figures in modern Western culture - some known to have been influential to the composer (such as Jung, Wagner and Yeats), others not usually associated with him (such as Kant, Nietzsche and Adorno). Analyses of late works such as the Triple Concerto and Byzantium also speculate on Tippett’s sexuality as a (literally) critical element in his creative and political consciousness.

Bibliographic Details

2 tables 43 music examples


  • Acknowledgements
  • References to Tippetts scores and essays
  • 1. Tippett and the world vision of modernity
  • 2. The significance of the concept image in Tippetts musical thought: a perspective from Jung
  • 3. Back to Nietzsche? Transformations of the dionysiac in The Midsummer Marriage and King Priam
  • 4. Metaphysics in a cold climate: The Vision of Saint Augustine
  • 5. Shall we ...? Affirm! The ironic and the sublime in The Mask of Time
  • 6. The meaning of lateness: mediations of work, self and society in Tippetts Triple Concerto
  • 7. The golden bird and the porcelain bowl: Byzantium and the politics of artefacts
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index.

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