“Everything that Dutilleux has written in the last decades belongs to the category of masterpiece”. These were the words of conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen regarding the French composer, Henri Dutilleux, who sadly died last week ( + 22 May 2013) at the age of 97. One of the great twentieth-century composers, he consistently gave us music full of wonderful sounds and ravishing orchestral effects. Nowhere is this more evident than in perhaps his best-known pieces, namely the concertos for cello (Tout un monde lointain) and violin (L’Arbre des songes). If you’re looking for an introduction to his music, then I’d suggest a 2-disc EMI set, which includes both of these concertos, featuring none other than Mstislav Rostropovich and Renaud Capuçon as the soloists.
Furthermore, there’s a truly outstanding disc from earlier this year, conducted by Salonen with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, containing one of my favourite Dutilleux pieces, Correspondances, for soprano and orchestra. This is most certainly worth a listen: not only is soprano Barbara Hannigan on typically amazing form, but I can think of no other orchestral piece that contains a duet (albeit a very brief one) for accordion and tuba!"
Resident of Candes-Saint-Martin
- 36.6 kilometres from Richelieu -
(and the Ile Saint Louis, Paris)
"I'm afraid M. Dutilleux doesn't live here any more..."