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TIPPETT, KEITH: The Monk Watches the Eagle
An immaculate BBC recording of a 2004 commission by the Norwich Festival of a performance in Norwich Cathedral for the BBC singers and two saxophone quartets. Tippett is the composer only here, but listening makes you realise what we’ve missed as a consequence of people like him so rarely being given the opportunity to access such resources. He blithely ignores genre rules while understanding at a deep level the history of the cantata, of diverse musical languages – and the spirit of the ages. This is not an instance of a jazz guy having a go, it’s an instance of a great musical mind being allowed to use the machinery usually kept for the use of club members. And it’s stunningly bold – he doesn’t try to prove anything, he’s not intimidated by the gatekeepers; he just hears what wants and makes it happen. The result is luminous. In another time this quality and stature of work would be lauded and circulated and repeated; in our own, it’s left to Martin Archer, Pierre Sigalas and Julie Tippets (who wrote the libretto, played the Mbira and is one of the vocal soloists) to keep it alive and make way for it to say what it has to say about what music is when you strip away the fences and the prejudice. Highly recommended.
Code: Discus 102CD