– Orchestre National in Concert – Aug. 7, 2012 – Radio France Musique
Back to Paris this week with a concert recorded on April 15, 2002 featuring Orchestre National de France, guest conducted by Juanja Mena and featuring cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras playing the Dutilleux Cello Concerto. They also play music of Manuel de Falla and Jacques Ibert.
On the short side this week, but a good concert featuring a seldom heard work by Henri Dutilleux.
Henri Paul Julien Dutilleux was active mainly in the second half of the 20th century. His small body of published work, which garnered international acclaim, followed in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Albert Roussel and Olivier Messiaen, but in an idiosyncratic style.
Some of his notable compositions include a piano sonata, two symphonies, the cello concerto Tout un monde lointain… (A whole distant world), the violin concerto L’arbre des songes (The tree of dreams), the string quartet Ainsi la nuit (Thus the night) and a sonatine for flute and piano. Some of these are regarded as masterpieces of 20th-century classical music. Works were commissioned from him by such major artists as Charles Munch, George Szell, Mstislav Rostropovich, the Juilliard String Quartet, Isaac Stern, Paul Sacher, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Simon Rattle, Renée Fleming, and Seiji Ozawa. French organist Gaston Litaize also asked Dutilleux many times to compose for the organ, but nothing came from it; the two first met in 1938 at the Grand Prix de Rome, which Dutilleux won and at which Litaize finished second.
In the New York Times, Paul Griffiths wrote, “Mr. Dutilleux’s position in French music was proudly solitary. Between Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez in age, he was little affected by either, though he took an interest in their work. … But his voice, marked by sensuously handled harmony and color, was his own.”
Dutilleux received several major prizes throughout his career, notably the Grand Prix de Rome (1938), International Music Council’s International Rostrum of Composers (1955), the Grand-Croix de la Légion d’honneur (2004), the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (2005), the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society (2008) and the Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music (2011).
In addition to composing, he worked as the Head of Music Production for Radio France for 18 years. He also taught at the École Normale de Musique de Paris and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, and was twice composer in residence at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Here’s what’s on the program:
Orchestre National de France – Dutilleux/Ibert/de Falla
Henri Dutilleux *
Concerto pour violoncelle “Tout un monde lointain”
[1. Rome-Palerme (Calme)
2. Tunis-Nefta (Lodéré très rythmé)
3. Valencia (Animé)
Manuel de Falla
Le Tricorne, suites 1 et 2
Jean-Guihen Queyras, violoncelle *
Orchestre National de France
Direction : Juanjo Mena
Concert enregistré le 15 avril 2002 au Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, à Paris
As always, recorded brilliantly by the venerable recording team at France Musique – another dose of Anti-Road Rage and another concert I would raise the volume a bit higher on than you may usually do.
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