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BCS - Concert Notes
BCS Next Concert

Concert Notes
Child of Our Time

7.30pm
21 March 2015

Bath Abbey

A Child of Our Time

Our Easter concert this year relates to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Our autumn workshop at St Swithins, Walcot, in which we worked on Michael Tippett's 1939 oratorio, A Child of our Time, was a preparation for this concert.

Tippett used an actual historical event in 1938 as a particular seed from which he generated a universal message. The impulsive murder of a German diplomat by an aggrieved Jewish refugee was used by the Nazis as a pretext for a horrific anti-Semitic pogrom. The composer draws us through the darkness of this event into the light of hope, weaving negro spirituals into the musical fabric of a very moving denunciation of oppression.

The scene for the Tippett oratorio will be set superbly by the Vaughan Williams Symphony no.5 in D. Although it was first performed in 1943 amidst the destruction of the London blitz, it has no direct propagandist message either way about the war. It is an elegiac, and very English, meditation on themes that seem to transcend human conflict, themes that perhaps can only be expressed through music. The haunting opening emerges as if from some other more peaceful dimension, and at the end of the work we are returned there.


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