Libretto by: Sir Michael Tippett
Music by: Sir Michael Tippett
Performed by City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Michael Tippett, Birmingham, England, October 1991.
English composer Michael Tippett (19051997), a committed pacifist, conceived the oratorio A Child of Our Time after he learned of the November 1938 Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) pogrom in Germany and Austria. Wishing to communicate a universal message of tolerance, Tippett omitted any reference to current events in his libretto. He drew musical inspiration from baroque-era composers Bach and Handel and from African American spirituals. A Child of Our Time, named after a novel by anti-Nazi writer Odon von Horwath, was completed in 1941 and first performed in London in March 1944. The excerpted passage below occurs at the beginning of Part II:
A star rises in mid-winter.
Behold the man! Behold the man!
The scape-goat! The scape-goat!
The child of our time.
Michael Tippett, A Child of Our Time. Collins Classics CD 13392. Schott Music.