Those Twentieth Century Blues: An Autobiography

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Hutchinson, 1991 - Music - 290 pages
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Sir Michael Tippett's life has always been exceptional - expelled from prep school after prep school, from the age of seven he had to travel across war-torn Europe alone to stay with his nomadic parents in the school holidays. But he always knew that he wanted to be a composer as strongly as he knew he was homosexual. He was imprisoned during World War II as a conscientious objector when his friends - Britten, Sitwell, Eliot, Fry - all escaped prosecution, and was briefly a member of the Communist Party. For years he had a close relationship with his cousin Fresca who finally committed suicide when it became clear that Tippett could never marry her. All this happened against a background of Jungian analysis and composition of masterpieces such as A Child of our Time, King Priam, The Knotgarden and The Mask of Time. This is Tippett's autobiography.

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The PreWar Idyll
The CrackUp
Spring Awakening

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About the author (1991)

Sir Michael Tippett was educated entirely in England. He has been very involved with political and social events but has maintained his well-developed neoromantic style of composition. For example, his oratorio A Child of Our Time (1939--41) was inspired by the case of a Jewish boy, who in 1938 assassinated a member of the German embassy in Paris. Tippett also possesses a fine literary gift; he writes the librettos for his operas and oratorios. He is an inheritor of the best British tradition of composing understandable but deeply emotional music.

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