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Donald Macleod explores Tippett's life via his intense personal relationships. Today, his lifelong friends Christopher Fry and David Ayerst.

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 lifelong friendships with the poet and playwright Christopher Fry and the journalist and writer David Ayerst.

Tippett: Dance, Clarion Air
Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford
Medici String Quartet
Stephen Darlington, Director

Tippett: Piano Concerto – 1: Allegro non troppo
Benjamin Frith, Piano
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
George Hurst, conductor

Tippett: Crown of the Year – Prelude (Autumn); Victoria rules an autumn land
Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford
Medici String Quartet
Stephen Darlington, Director

Tippett: The Blue Guitar – 3: Dreaming
Craig Ogden, guitar

Tippett: The Rose Lake
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Richard Hickox, conductor

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Michael Tippett

    Dance, Clarion Air

    Choir: Christ Church Cathedral Oxford Choir. Conductor: Stephen Darlington.
    • Nimbus NI5266.
    • Nimbus.
    • 1.
  • Michael Tippett

    Piano Concerto (1st movement)

    Performer: Benjamin Frith. Performer: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: George Hurst.
    • Naxos 8.553591.
    • Naxos.
    • 2.
  • Michael Tippett

    Crown of the Year: Victoria rules an Autumn land

    Choir: Christ Church Cathedral Oxford Choir. Conductor: Stephen Darlington. Ensemble: Medici String Quartet.
    • Nimbus NI5266.
    • Nimbus.
    • 10.
  • Michael Tippett

    The Blue Guitar

    Performer: Craig Ogden.
    • Nimbus NI5390.
    • Nimbus.
    • 3.
  • Michael Tippett

    The Rose Lake

    Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Conductor: Richard Hickox.
    • CHANDOS : CHSA-5039.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 10.

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