8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Despite all the nasty bilge directed Tippett's way recently - demeaning his compositional style; accusing him of being a 'dilettante'; making out that he flitted from one 'craze' to the next - the music will still speak the truth.
I have always loved his string quartets - the 3rd in particular. They are amongst the best of that form ever created. Emotional, complex, original, finely structured. A consistent brilliance. They resonate with a peculiar passion all their own.
These fine recordings do great justice to their subject matter. This is a wondrous set to own and enjoy.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I've reviewed various Tippett items elsewhere. I fell head over heals in love with the early period Tippett masterpieces, Concerto for Double String Orchestra and the Corelli Fantasia, when I was 15, 35 years ago. Other Tippett works were very hard to come by in the typical high street record shop in those days, so it was with some excitement that I stumbled across a vinyl recording of the Lindsays doing the first three quartets, which are included on this disk. When I got them home I had no idea what to make of them as they were clearly nothing like the easily comprehensible early period works.
I had no idea of any notion of modern 'classical' music at this time, so I had nothing else to compare them with. I was still doing Elgar and Vaughan Williams after all. It took me probably about five or six years of occasional but persistent, concentrated listening for the penny to finally drop, and I had my first experience of sudden awakening to a new undreamed of world of beauty, and subtle new shades of emotion, which was to become a regular pattern for me, with all of Tippett's works.
None of Tippett's middle, late works yield just like that. They all demand humility and a letting go of all pre-conceptions before you are in a suitably receptive state for the magic to happen. And when it does it will always take you to a new world of beauty, never heard before.
Eventually I acquired this set on CD and of coures, the first three quartets were completely familiar to me and sounded entirely straightforward to my accustomed ears, but 4 & 5 were new to me, and sure enough they were difficult and strange. But I've done enough Tippett now to be completely confident that sooner or later they would open up their secrets to me, which sure enough, they eventually did. More transcendent masterpieces.
I pity those nay-sayers in the anti-Tippett camp, who can only get excited by people who've been dead for a hundred years or more, and whose emotional spectrum is clearly such a flat and tediously predictable thing. They are like people in a cave seeing shadows flicker on the wall unaware that there is a world of sunlight outside. Ooh, I like that metaphor. I wonder if it's been used before :-?