The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (170): Still doubled up

Taking his cue from Vaughan Williams, Michael Tippett wrote some of his most beautiful pieces for a double-strings orchestra.


Colin Davis, Michael Tippett, Erich Gruenberg

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  • Yes, you have changed your tune Norman. I remember reading your weekly column in the London Evening Standard on my commute home many years ago, and the whole one page article was a tirade against British composers. A few months ago however you recommend Harold Truscott, and now Tippett. Better late than never!

  • Thanks for reminding me of this fabulous piece Norman. Long time no hear. Also nudged me to listen to his Concerto for Double String Orchestra – another favourite of this period of Tippett’s output. Hopefully he’ll come back into fashion one day.

  • While there are notable, individual string serenades and other major string pieces (Stravinsky’s Apollo or Bartok’s Divertimento, for example) by non-British composers, the “string piece” does seem to be a particular strength of the British composer – RVW, Elgar, Tippett, Walton, Mathias, Warlock, Britten all come to mind.

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