Te Deum & A
Child of Our Time

By Anton Bruckner and Michael Tippett

February 3, 2012 at 7:00PM | Carnegie Hall

MasterVoices | American Symphony Orchestra | James Bagwell, Conductor

Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum in C Major is a magnificent setting of the early Christian Te Deum hymn text. Publisher Tehodore Rattig paid Bruckner 50 gulden, thought to be the only money he ever earned as a composer in his entire life, and the Te Deum was premiered in Vienna in 1885. The piece was so moving that Gustav Mahler crossed out the marking “for chorus, solos, and orchestra, organ ad libitum” on his score and replaced it with “for the tongues of angels, heaven-blest, chastened hearts, and souls purified in his fire!”

Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time (1941) is a unique oratorio, structured in three parts to emulate Handel’s Messiah and using traditional African-American spirituals in a form similar to Bach’s use of the chorale in his Passions, all with a decidedly twentieth-century musical language. The text of this stirring work reflects Tippett’s pacifism and belief that people contain both “shadow and light.”