The relevance of Jungian Psychology, when studying Tippet, is unquestionable, almost perfunctory. The psychological theories of Jung were greatly admired by Tippet who was undoubtedly influenced a great deal by Jungs observations of the psyche. Tippett not only clearly understood and supported the validity of Jungs theories, but also fully incorporated them into his life; using the theories as an almost spiritual base from which he could ascertain a clear understanding of his self (i.e. analysing his own dreams in a Jungian fashion). This is evident in Tippetts own writings. Throughout his book, Tippett on Music, Tippet makes several references to Jung, whether discussing the psyche of others, or indeed writing about aspects on belief; the consequences of Jungs psychological theories on Tippett are evident.
Tippett found that
The contemporary mind: intellectual, advanced, modern, and rational is able to be understood better by adopting Jungs therapeutic approach; an approach keen to accept the unconscious as an aspect of the psyche which may harbour more than just repressed memories. Tippett appreciated the opportunity in which to understand his highly active and contemporary mind, fostering a need to balance such a terrifying therapy with an equal examination of the collective non-primitive . In wanting to know himself truly by acknowledging his unconscious, Tippett integrated Jungs psychologies into his life. Tippet believed that Jung has found a way to bring this collective non-primitive into relation with our excessively rationalistic, empirical modern minds . It seems that Tippett, who was searching for answers to many ontological questions perhaps most prevalent that being the rationalization of his homosexuality was able to find a means in which to find answers by following Jungs theories.
Tippett was also able to further his understanding of the human race by acknowledging the connecting aspect of each individuals psyche; the collective-unconscious. To Tippett, Jungs theories were so convincing that he not only used them to rationalize his own psyche, but also realised the empathetic bond between humans, seeking not only epistemological answers, but an answer to the connections that exist between them. Some of us are driven by other agonies to a deeper analysis, until we meet on the labyrinthine paths of the collective unconscious those events, age-old predilections of the mind, which Jung calls the Archetypes . It is perhaps through Jungs idea of archetypal knowledge that Tippett connects most to Jungs psychology; seeing the potential of an innate knowledge of things which somewhat resonates with the ideology of Platonic philosophy to act as a means through which he could communicate in his music.
It is the intention of this essay to examine those aspects of
To understand the Jungian influence on Tippetts choice of title and concept for the work, we must first understand Jungs concept of archetypes. In breaking down the psyche into three parts: the conscious mind, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious, Jung was further able to rationalize that:from the unconscious there emanate determining influences which, independently of tradition, guarantee in every single individual a similarity and even a sameness of experience, and also of the way it is represented imaginatively. One of the main proofs of this is the almost universal parallelism between mythological motifs, which, on account of their quality as primordial images, I have called Archetypes .
Tippetts choice of title is owed to a parallel he drew between Ödon von Horvaths novel Ein Kind unserer Zeit, and the historical event of Kristallnacht, of which Herschel Grynspan became the model for Tippetts scapegoat. Horvaths story confirmed that Tippetts central concept of the scapegoat was part of an age-old recurring pattern in human existence and Tippett therefore saw the opportunity for his oratorio to have more than documentary relevance . By basing his oratorio on the archetypal image of the scapegoat, Tippetts intention was beyond merely commenting on the relevance of the situation at that time, but to also achieve a work which communicates with all humanity an ageless sameness of experience; a work which addresses a concept familiar to us all.
Other elements of
Tippett, therefore, had a lot of material latent with Jungian ideas with which to compose his oratorio. Naturally, the diegesis of the oratorio would contain those Jungian aspects demonstrated by the actual historical event. Tippett, however, furthers the audiences experience of Jung in the fictional world of his oratorio by personifying some of Jungs concepts as characters in the story. We are talking here about what Jung referred to as the anima. Jung believed that everyone has an inner personality and attitude, which is turned towards the world of the unconscious . It is with the idea of an inner personality that Tippett personifies, in the second scena of the second part of his oratorio, the anima of the boy in the alto part. As the narrator gradually depicts the story, the alto observes the changes in the unconsciousness of the boy, descriptions which grow dynamically as the story unfolds. The anima is also personified in the music itself. The scena which begins 9 bars before figure 83, uses the woodwind timbre, first exposed in the clarinet 5 bars before figure 83, as an obligatto timbre with which to complement or represent the alto voices personification of the boys anima. His other self rises in him is represented not by an ascending vocal setting, but rather the ascending motifs seen in the woodwinds (5 bars before figure 84: oboe and clarinet). Tippett even goes as far to attempt elicitation of a musical representation of the boys behaviours which result from the energy of his libido. We can see that 2 bars before figure 84, Tippett juxtaposes the text and melodic line of the narrator (bass solo) with that of the anima (alto solo), demonstrating the overwhelming power of the libido to facilitate irrational behaviours; the sudden presence of two vocal lines incurs a momentary lapse of concentration in the audience.
The image of the anima is also explored later in the oratorio in Part III, the first alto solo. The soul of man is impassioned like a woman Tippett directly refers to the anima, which Jung used to describe the personification of the unconscious feminine aspect of a mans personality . Tippet is using here, however, the actual text of the libretto as a mode in which to communicate directly, information, as opposed to the more abstract personification of the anima, which requires more thought to perceive correctly. Tippett goes further with the text to define the very nature of the anima: She is old as the earth, beyond good and evil, the sensual garments; Tippett acknowledges the intrinsic archetypal properties of the anima.
Tippet expresses a lot through his text and it is worth examining each part, highlighting the relevant parts which have manifested from
It is Jungs idea of the shadow which is most prevalent in
After the dialogue between the chorus and alto solo, the narrator, bass solo, sings about a division in the commonwealth. This division, however, is representative of the splitting of the psyche into its several parts. The narrator in
In the Tenor solo which follows the Chorus of the Oppressed, Tippet explores another area of Jungian Psychology. Here, Jungs idea of the ego is explored through the image of the common man . The ego is the part of the psyche which gives us our sense of identity , furthermore helps us to function effectively in society . The words Tippett uses: I am caught between my desires and their frustrations as between the hammer and the anvil, create a metaphor for the interaction between the ego and the shadow of the common man. Tippet, in this tenor solo, portrays the concept of the self which is the whole personality and includes both conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche .
The soprano solo which follows the tenor solo is quite similar in function. It portrays the common woman . Here, the absence of acknowledging any selfish desire makes the text more pertinent to an expression of the ego alone. The ego can be seen to be acclimatizing to the current situation of the world by expressing its immediate concerns: How shall I feed my children on so small a wage? Tippett acknowledges that the anima in men is more prevalent and as such is responsible for heightened elicitations of the shadow in men the common man.
If we consider the difference of the narrative content between part I and part II, the location of the events in each section can be placed in separate parts of the psyche. The first part, which has a more metaphysical denotation, can be contrasted to that of the second part, which focuses more on descriptive event and realistic dialogue. The possible notion that part one is a portrayal of the collective-unconscious and that part two is set in the conscious mind is supported by Tippetts intention to follow closely the tripartite shape of Handels Messiah, which embodied three basic formal and dramatic functions: the first part is prophetic and preparatory, the second narrative and epic, the third meditative and metaphysical . In
The Jungian aspects of part II are mainly involved with the nature of instincts and the power of the libido. The second part is able to demonstrate Grynspans position in the journey of the psyche. In his book, Man and his Symbols, Jung describes the dynamic growth and development of the psyche through identify with various symbols. The Red Horn is most apt at in detailing Grynspans place in the journey of the psyche, it:Represents the third stage. He is the youngest of ten brothers and has to pass various archetypal tests, such as winning a race and proving his great strength. His companion thunderbird storms-as-he-walks makes up for any shortcomings and weaknesses on the part of the hero. Red Horn represents the struggles of teens and young adulthood, where the growing psyche has to come to terms with living in the outer worldThis is particularly evident in Grynspan, whose attempt to deal with the pressures of the Nazi pogroms led to him shooting the official.
Tippetts most effective demonstration of the Jungian idea of projection is foundi n the second scena of the second part. When The Boy shoots the official, the alto sings: But he shoots only his dark brother and see he is dead. In referring to his dark brother, Tippett is actually suggesting the projection of The Boys shadow upon the official. In shooting his dark brother, The Boy is killing those aspects of himself which he sees as unacceptable in the official.
In part III the focus of the oratorio is centred upon the Jungian ideas of Individuation, the process of facing the shadow of your psyche in an attempt to take responsibility for out less favoured aspects . The chorus in the opening of part III sing: The world descends into the icy waters where lies the jewel of great price, Tippett is suggesting that deep with the psyche we are able to discover our true self. The following alto solo is a follow up of the opening chorus statement, detailing the aspects of the anima in the unconscious that mankind are unaware of. After having presented in part II the struggles of the conscious mind, which result from a lack of empathy with the unconscious, Tippett provides in the third part a way in which to find ones self; an answer moreover a remedy.
Tippetts answer is most poignantly expressed in the final section of his oratorio where the tenor sings: I would know my shadow and my light, so shall I at last be whole a direct metaphorical depiction of the individuation process. In his final moments of using his own words, Tippett prompts his audience to dare the grave passage, to take the steps towards becoming individuated. It is the reassessment of our own unconscious that Tippett implies by: The moving waters renew the earth. In his final advocating of
Through his knowledge of
BIBLIOGPRAHPYJUNG, Carl. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Routledge; New Ed edition (6 Jun 1991)KEMP, Ian. Tippet: the composer and his music. London, Eulenberg Books, 1984SNOWDEN, Ruth. Teach Yourself Jung. Hodder Murray, 2005TIPPETT, Michael. Tippett on Music. ed. Meirion Bowen. Oxford University Press, 1995