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Dutilleux: Correspondances


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Audio CD, January 22, 2013
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Dutilleux: Correspondances + Lutoslawski: The Symphonies (2 CD) + Salonen: Out of Nowhere Violin Concerto - Nyx
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Product Details

  • Performer: Barbara Hannigan, Anssi Karttunen
  • Orchestra: Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Composer: Henri Dutilleux
  • Audio CD (January 22, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00AEMAJ50
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,173 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Rarely does a recording satisfy as fully as does this all Dutilleux volume. Esa-Pekka Salonen has long been a torchbearer for this superb French composer and the affinity between the two is palpable. Dutilleux's music is all about clouds of sound, textures that metamorphose throughout the sections of the orchestra and often call forth the voice or voices. Technically his music lies comfortably in the definition of Serialism but rather than the academically dry result at the hands of some other composers who have touch this method of composing, Dutilleux's uncanny sense of color in creating sound makes his music find the heart in addition to the brain!

The work for this experience is `Correspondances', composed in 2003, is an orchestral song cycle, a genre that Dutilleux had not yet taken up until that time. The title of `Correspondances' refers both to a Baudelaire poem about synaesthesia and to the fact that two of the songs are settings of letters, one from Vincent van Gogh to his long-suffering brother Theo, and the other from Alexander Solzhenitsyn to cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, singer Galina Vishnevskaya. The work was written for soprano Dawn Upshaw, who sang the premiere but was unable to record it. Dutilleux heard a performance of the work by the present forces and suggested to conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen that he make a recording, even writing a new finale for soprano Barbara Hannigan. The result is a triumph for all concerned (Salonen conducts the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France).

The Shadows of Time (composed in1997) includes three boy soloists in a chilling third movement dedicated to the memory of Anne Frank.
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Format: Audio CD
To my knowledge, Esa-Pekka Salonen has not recorded the music of Henri Dutilleux before, but like many the greatness of the late French composer (1916-2013) ultimately struck him and he has used his clout to get Dutilleux this major release from the yellow label. The highlight of this disc is a world-premiere recording of the song cycle "Correspondences", but since that is a fairly short piece, we get two larger works from earlier in Dutilleux's mature career. Incidentally, all of this 2013 release got bundled into DG's 2014 limited edition box set of Dutilleux on Deutsche Grammophon.

Dutilleux's cello concerto of 1970, here with Anssi Karttunen as soloist, bears the intriguing title "Tout un monde lontain..." (A Whole Distant World), with Anssi Karttunen. The concerto is cast in five thematically interlocked movements: "Enigme", "Regard", "Houle", "Miroirs" and "Hymne". This composer's music for orchesta is generally excellent, and this piece is no exception: there is transparent orchestration that nonetheless maintains a paradoxical sense of mystery, the continual reappearance in different guises of a basic theme, and well-placed orchestral tuttis. The soloist is not led through many extended techniques, but the part is nonetheless challenging (with huge glissandi) and there is a constant shift between arco and pizzicato.

Unfortunately, this new recording of "Tout un Monde Lontain" is nothing to write home about. At 27 minutes, Salonen moves through the piece too quickly to maintain Dutilleux's sense of mystery at its best, the gestures lack punch, and DG's sound sounds very artificial.
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