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CHAN 10330M
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CHAN 10330
(multiple CD Set)

Tippett: Symphonies/ New Year Suite

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2005

Originally recorded in 2004


Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hickox

Faye Robinson



Winter Gardens, Bournemouth


Ralph Couzens

(other works)

Brian Couzens

(Symphonies Nos 1, 3 and 4)


Ben Connellan

(Assistant: Symphony No. 4)

Richard Smoker

(other works)

Ben Connellan

(other works)

Ralph Couzens

(Symphonies Nos 1, 3 and 4)

Record Label
Chandos Classics


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 192:54
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Symphony No. 1

1 I Allegro vigoroso: quasi alla breve 11:08
2 II Adagio 12:09
3 III Presto 6:20
4 IV Allegro moderato ma con brio e più tarde con delicatezza 7:33

Symphony No. 2

5 I Allegro vigoroso 9:36
6 II Adagio molto e tranquillo 11:47
7 III Presto veloce 5:40
8 IV Allegro moderato 9:04

Symphony No. 3*

  Part 1 28:20      
9 Allegro non troppo e pestante - 12:02
10 Lento 16:18
  Part 2 28:42      
11 Allegro molto - 6:21
12 Slow Blues. Andante - 3:32
  As I drew nurture from my mother's breast. . .  
13 Fast Blues. Allegro - 2:23
  O, I'll go walking. . .  
14 Slow Blues. Largo - 4:56
  I found the man grown to a dwarf. . .  
15 Pochissimo meno mosso 11:30
  They sang that when she waved her wings. . .  

Symphony No. 4

16 Introduction and Exposition. Tempo 1 3:42
17 Fig. 21† - Development 1 (Fig. 25). Tempo 3 4:29
18 Slow Movement (Fig. 52). Tempo 1 7:57
19 Development 2 (Fig. 78). Tempo 2 3:23
20 Scherzo and Trios (Fig. 100). Tempo 3 4:11
21 Fig. 139. Tempo 1 - Development 3 (Fig. 144) 4:38
22 Recapitulation (Fig. 160) 5:16
  †Schott score  

New Year Suite

  Timothy Holmes - Kyle Horch - Melanie Bush saxophones  
  Steven Smith - Alan Taylor electric guitars  
  Robert Millett kit drums  
23 1 The Space Ship Lands 0:42
24 2 Prelude 0:41
25 3 The Shaman Dance - 1:12
26 4 The Hunt for the Scapegoat - 1:29
27 5 Donny's Skarade - 3:51
28 6 Donny's Dream - 3:39
29 7 Dream Interlude 0:45
30 8 Jo Ann's Dreamsong - 4:37
31 9 Love Scene for Jo Ann and Pelegrin - 6:25
32 10 The Paradise Dance - 2:24
33 11 The Beating-Out of the Scapegoat (the Bad Old Year) - 0:48
34 12 Ringing in the New Year - 1:08
35 13 The Space Ship Takes Off Again 1:18
 Faye Robinson soprano*
 Richard Hickox
  2 & 3 October 1992 (Symphony No. 4), 3 & 4 December 1993 (Symphony No. 3), 9 & 10 March 1994 (Symphony No. 2, New Year Suite) and 28 & 29 October 1994 (Symphony No. 1)  
To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Sir Michael Tippett, Chandos is releasing Richard Hickox’s highly acclaimed recordings of his symphonies and the Suite from the opera New Year, packaged in a handsome cat-box – and at a special price: 3 discs for the price of 2.

Hickox’s survey of Tippett’s symphonies is the only digital cycle available.

These recordings received unanimous critical acclaim, both as performances and sound, on their original release, and remain central in the Tippett discography.

A fundamental aspect of the work of Sir Michael Tippett, especially of the symphonies, was his attempt to recreate, in his own twentieth-century terms, the dynamism, energy, and humanistic dimension of Beethoven’s art. In the third movement of the First Symphony (1944–45) he set himself the task of generating the momentum of the Beethovenian scherzo, and the finale of the same work is a majestic double fugue that recalls the last movement of the ‘Hammerklavier’ Piano Sonata. The first movement of the Second Symphony (1956–57) is modelled on the Beethovenian sonata-form process, while Tippett’s recourse to words, and these words themselves, in the finale of the bold Third Symphony (1970–72) overtly relate to Beethoven’s Ninth, a kinship further emphasised by the quotation of the renowned opening of the Ninth’s finale. Tippett was also an admirer and champion of the music of Purcell, and his technique of developing material by means of contrast recalls Purcell’s string fantasias whose form is generated by a sequence of musical ideas. This concept is present in the opening pages of the First and Third Symphonies, in the form of the Second Symphony’s finale, and in the division of the single span of the Fourth Symphony (1976–77) into seven sections. Tippett’s penchant for the use of variations on a ground bass, as in the slow movement of the First Symphony and the finale of the Second, is a further product of Purcellian influence.

Tippett’s fifth opera, New Year, received its first US and British performances in Houston and Glyndebourne in 1989 and 1990 respectively. The Suite from ‘New Year’ draws on music from the opera, but was conceived by Tippett as an independent concert work in the manner, he suggests, of Berg’s Three Fragments from ‘Wozzeck’. The suite was commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and given its premiere in 1990, conducted by Muhai Tang. In thirteen episodes that play continuously but do not follow the sequence of the opera’s action, the suite is full of memorable musical invention.

Hickox’s Tippett cycle goes from strength to strength.
BBC Music

This is Tippett firing on all cylinders, with a performance and recording to match.

Hickox’s Tippett cycle is becoming one of the musical events of the decade.
Classic CD

This is keen-eyed, thoroughly committed playing.What cannot be overstated is the mastery of Hickox’s imaginative reading… Chandos’s sound throughout possesses exciting realism.
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