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Monday, December 12, 2016

Dutilleux, Orchestral Works, Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot

Henri Dutilleux departed from this earth in 2013 at the considerable age of 97. He left behind a body of works that marks him as one of France's most original and lucid modern composers, a singular voice of our times.

Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony have done us a great service in recording some of his finest Orchestral Works in a three-CD set (Seattle Symphony Media 1013) that gives us beautifully definitive versions of some ten works spanning his entire career.

We are treated in this set to the "Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2," "Tout un monde lontain," "The Shadows of Time," "Metaboles," "Violin Concerto, L'arbre des songes," "Sur le meme accord," "Les citations," "Mystere de l'instant" and "Timbres, espace, movement."

Each work carefully and vividly sets up and develops its own sound color landscape that is informed by modernist influences through Messiaen but makes of it all something utterly idiomatic, original, personal.

Morlot and the Seattle Symphony in each case enter into the essence of the work and recreate the brilliance lurking within Dutilleux's masterful orchestrations.

In the end we experience a retrospective that methodically builds a case for Dutilleux's importance far beyond what any single work could do.

The results are remarkable and stunning. No one with an interest in mature modernism and French sound color can afford to miss this set. Ravishing!

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