This, one of Tippett's earliest acknowledged works, is one of his most popular. The music relates the true story of a young German Jew who, terrified and enraged at the treatment of his mother, kills a Nazi officer and touches off a violent pogrom. Tippett adopts the structure of Bach's Passions, in which arias alternate with choruses and Lutheran hymns (chorales), although in place of the chorales Tippett substitutes magnificently moving Negro spirituals. "A Child of our Time" offers music of rage, poignancy, and deep compassion. As the title itself implies, it is both specific to a certain time and place, and universal as well. No lover of classical music can afford to ignore it.