Symphony No. 4 (Tippett)

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Michael Tippett's Symphony No. 4 was written in 1977 and first performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by Sir Georg Solti. It was dedicated to Tippett's biographer and friend, Ian Kemp.

Form[edit]

It is written in one movement divided into seven sections:

  1. Introduction and exposition
  2. Development 1
  3. Slow movement
  4. Development 2
  5. Scherzo and trios
  6. Development 3
  7. Recapitulation

In terms of form, it combines sonata and fantasia forms, as well as that of the symphonic poem.

Tippet's periods[edit]

Tippett called the work "a birth to death piece".[1] This is emphasized by a "breathing effect", either from tape or sampler, particularly prominent at the beginning and the end of the symphony, with a single, unaccompanied intake of breath as its conclusion.

Stylistically, the Fourth Symphony unites all previous stylistic tendencies in Tippett's work: the counterpoint and gentle lyricism of his first creative period and the angular, spiky modernism of his second period, thus creating a third and final period. Tippett quotes the opening of this Symphony in his Piano Sonata No. 4.

Instrumentation[edit]

Tippett's score calls for a large orchestra consisting of:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Notes to "Tippett:Symphonies Nos 2&4" with CD issued with 'BBC Music Magazine' Volume III No 6.