When will we reach the Tippett point?
Discussions of neglected symphonists invariably neglect to mention Michael Tippett. So it is good to see that Hyperion are releasing Martyn Brabbins conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Tippett's First and Second Symphonies - sample here - as the first instalment of a Tippett symphony cycle. Excellent accounts by Colin Davis and Richard Hickox failed to persuade the wider audience of the indisputable merit of Tippett's symphonies, so it will be interesting to see how the new Hyperion release fares. The problem is that unfamiliar works such as these require repeated concert hall outings to engage audiences, not the one-off pseudo-event treatment that is now standard for non-mainstream repertoire. To treat Tippett and his neglected peers as more than a solitary freak show requires courage and commitment from conductor, orchestra and promoter. So I'm not holding my breath.
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