France's Eminence gris,
This review is from: Orchestral Works (Complete) (Audio CD)With the death of Messiaen a few years ago, France has only Dutilleux and Boulez as it's remaining grey eminences musically. Of the two, Dutilleaux is the less well known, partly because he has been hardly prolific (he is a merciless critic of his own work) and because Boulez has a greater genius for self-promotion.This complete collection should go a long way to securing Dutilleux's reputation as one of the finest French composers of the last half of the 20th century.
This CD is a collectin of all of the orchestral works by Dutilleux. they span his entire career, from the 1st symphony of 1951 to The Shadows of Time, from 1997. Not all of the works on the disc are masterpieces, but many are, including the marvelous Cello concerto from 1970, Tout un monde lontain, the Violin concerto and the Shadows of Time. Dutilleux's world is a mix of shadow and light, neither atonal nor tonal. He has the same interest in sonority as Messiaen, but is more traditional and craftsmanlike. The music is clearly in the French Impressionist tradition, yet it is allusive and fleeting. almost haunting really.
Performances here are expert. Tortelier conducts marvelously and the soloists are all expert.
This is an essential disc for fans of modern French music.