Dutilleux Violin Concerto etc

Author: 
Arnold Whittall

Dutilleux Violin Concerto etc

  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, '(L')arbre des
  • Timbres, espace, mouvement
  • (2) Sonnets de Jean Cassou
  • Prière pour nous autres charnels, 'Praise for we

In welcoming Yan Pascal Tortelier’s first Dutilleux disc for Chandos (the two symphonies, 11/93) I expressed the hope that more would follow. Now it has, with a programme that neatly complements the relatively early symphonies with two substantial later works.
Timbres, espace, mouvement (1978, revised 1991) can be counted Dutilleux’s best orchestral composition, at once rooted in tradition yet persistently sceptical about conventional ‘symphonic’ values. It’s a tricky score to bring off, and Tortelier is entirely successful in negotiating its twists and turns of form. The atmosphere is less extrovert than in Semyon Bychkov’s performance, and the BBC Philharmonic’s playing has an air of caution about it, at least when compared with that of the Orchestre de Paris on the Philips disc. Bychkov uncovers a more balletic subtext, more links with Ravel and Debussy, in this highly pictorial score, but for that very reason his reading may seem too theatrical, too cavalier with the music’s more symphonic subtleties. The Philips recording is also far brighter and bolder than the finely blended, delicately balanced Chandos sound. You could say that, if Bychkov misses some of the music’s mystery, Tortelier underplays its eccentricities. But both are very satisfying readings.
In the Violin Concerto (1985) Tortelier again favours a symphonic approach, and very effective it is too, with a soloist who is authoritative without any hint of counterproductive self-assertiveness. In the rival Decca recording Pierre Amoyal is more intense in tone, with a volatility from which all sense of effort has not been completely purged. Is the Charlier/Tortelier version too staid, or does this richly perfumed music demand a response that keeps its more flamboyant qualities under firmer control than that provided by the Decca team? Amoyal and Dutoit make the more immediate impact, but it could well be that Charlier and Tortelier prove more satisfying in the longer run.
The Chandos disc also includes Dutilleux’s orchestral arrangement of his Cassou settings, otherwise available only in the piano version with the two movements the other way round (Erato, 5/95), and also his orchestration, made in 1944, of Jehan Alain’s touching prayer. Well-characterized contributions from Martyn Hill and Neal Davies complete this valuable and recommendable release.'

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018