Letter: Music's message

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The Independent Online
Anna Picard makes fun of Michael Tippett's moral and political concerns, while giving him a lecture on the defects of pacifism. She misrepresents the theme of his oratorio, A Child of Our Time. Its "oft- repeated message" is not "isn't war terrible?". That is Ms Picard's cliche. War is hardly referred to in Tippett's text, although it was doubtless in his mind as he composed the work during the Second World War. A Child is about violence, the roots of violence and the violence that generates violence. Its starting point was the assassination of a Nazi diplomat by a young Jew, which led to the Nazis' Kristallnacht attack on the Jews. If Ms Picard wants to attack Tippett's concerns, she should try to be accurate.

Anthony Arblaster