Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Wilf, John, Karl and Meirion

Donald Macleod explores Tippett's life via his intense personal relationships. Today, four people he loved - Wilf Franks, John Minchinton, Karl Hawker and Meirion Bowen.

Michael Tippett was a particularly absorbent composer, soaking up an incredibly wide range of inspirations and influences from the world around him, and perhaps most often from outside the field of music. His huge intellectual capacity and endless interest in other people combined with immense charisma to make him a personality to which everyone who met him seemed irresistibly drawn. His - often complex - relationships were particularly intense ones, and frequently blurred the lines between professional and personal, artistic and sexual.

This week Composer of the week looks at some of the people closest to Tippett and asks what influence they had on the life and music of a man whose story has still never been fully told. Joining Donald Macleod to explore sometimes uncharted territory is Oliver Soden, the author of a new - and the first complete - biography of the composer.

Today, Donald Macleod looks at Tippett's complex relationships with four people he loved and some of the music linked with them: the sculptor Wilf Franks; conductor John Minchinton; painter, Karl Hawker; and the writer on music, Meirion Bowen.

Tippett: Music
Martyn Hill, tenor
Andrew Ball, piano

Tippett: String Quartet No 1: 2 – Lento Cantabile
Heath Quartet

Tippett: Symphony No 2: 2 – Adagio molto e tranquillo
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Tippett: Songs for Achilles
Martyn Hill, tenor
Craig Ogden, guitar

Tippett: The Knot Garden – Enough, Enough
Josephine Barstow, soprano
Jill Gomez, soprano
Yvonne Minton, mezzo-soprano
Robert Tear, tenor
Thomas Carey, baritone
Thomas Hemsley, baritone
Raimund Herincx, baritone
ROH, Covent Garden
Sir Colin Davis, conductor

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Michael Tippett

    Music

    Performer: Andrew Ball. Singer: Martyn Hill.
    • Hyperion CDA66749.
    • Hyperion.
    • 1.
  • Michael Tippett

    String Quartet No 1 (2nd movement)

    Ensemble: Heath Quartet.
    • Wigmore Hall WHLive 0080/2.
    • Wigmore Hall.
    • 2.
  • Michael Tippett

    Symphony No 2 (2nd movement)

    Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Martyn Brabbins.
    • Hyperion CDA68203.
    • Hyperion:.
    • 6.
  • Michael Tippett

    Songs for Achilles

    Performer: Craig Ogden. Singer: Martyn Hill.
    • Hyperion CDA66749.
    • Hyperion.
    • 8.
  • Michael Tippett

    The Knot Garden: Enough, enough

    Singer: Josephine Barstow. Singer: Jill Gomez. Singer: Yvonne Minton. Singer: Robert Tear. Singer: Thomas Carey. Singer: Thomas Hemsley. Singer: Raimund Herincx. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • Philips 412 707-1.
    • Philips.
    • 1.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.