Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 September 2019
The British composer Michael Tippett (1905–98) has gained a reputation as ‘the most literary composer since Wagner’, owing to his propensity to exhibit his literary credentials ‘conspicuously and apparently self-consciously’. In her list of ‘the most exceptional of [Tippett’s] literary “gods”’, Suzanne Robinson rightly includes Goethe, Jung, Yeats and T. S. Eliot. The absence of Shakespeare from Robinson’s list is somewhat surprising, however, given the vital influence of this playwright’s work on Tippett’s life, music and aesthetics. Tippett’s abundant admiration for Shakespeare is apparent in his copious writings.