This concert opens with the Walton Viola Concerto (soloist Antoine Tamestit) and the second part is devoted to a performance of Tippett’s “A Child of Our Time”. Alan Gilbert will conduct the LSO with soloists Golda Schultz (soprano), Maya Lahyani (mezzo-soprano) and Stuart Jackson (tenor).
The direct inspiration for the work by Tippett, a committed member of the Peace Pledge Union and conscientious objector (for which he served a short term in prison), was the assassination of a German diplomat by a young Jewish refugee and the Nazi reaction, which is now remembered as “Kristallnacht”. The oratorio is not so specific but deals with the experiences of oppressed people generally and carries a strongly pacifist message of ultimate understanding and reconciliation.
The very original feature it contains is the use of African-American spirituals. Tippett said these songs of oppression possess a universality absent from traditional hymns. The work never loses its relevance and continues to talk to us in our own troubled times.