Dutilleux Orchestral Works

Author: 
Arnold Whittall

Dutilleux Orchestral Works

  • Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, 'Tout un monde l
  • Métaboles
  • Mystère de l'instant

This is the third issue in the Chandos Dutilleux series with the BBC Philharmonic and Yan Pascal Tortelier, and will presumably be the last until they are able to record The Shadows of Time, an exciting work on a symphonic scale recently premiered in Boston. The virtues of those earlier issues (11/93 and 11/96) remain evident here, with meticulously prepared, well-played performances, and recordings carefully adapted to the coloristic subtlety and textural delicacy of the music.
Metaboles is particularly tricky to bring off, but this version is admirable in the way it builds through some dangerously episodic writing to underline the power of the principal climaxes. A more sharply delineated sound picture, such as Philips provide for Bychkov, could have reinforced these contrasts even more appropriately, and I felt the same about the balance and perspective evident in the Cello Concerto. Boris Pergamenschikov is an eloquent soloist, without aspiring to dominate in the way that both Rostropovich and Lynn Harrell tend to do, and although the Chandos approach usefully underlines the symphonic qualities of the music I feel that both Rostropovich and Harrell (with the best sound) gain in intensity from being given a more forward balance.
There is naturally an element of historical interest in Paul Sacher’s recording of a work which he commissioned, but Tortelier’s account of Mystere de l’instant – using a full orchestral complement of strings – is excellently done. As with Metaboles, the structure is shaped with great flexibility and feeling for its ebb and flow, and as a result this emerges as a highly dramatic score, despite the inherent reticence of Dutilleux’s style. Taken as a whole, then, the Tortelier/Chandos Dutilleux series deserves a place in everyone’s collection.'

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