Superb Dutilleux from Casadesus, Again

Review by: David Hurwitz


Artistic Quality: 10

Sound Quality: 10

Not many conductors get to take multiple shots at Dutilleux’s exuberantly glowing First Symphony. Jean-Claude Casadesus first recorded the work a few decades ago for Forlane, if memory serves, with this same orchestra. That was a good performance, but this remake is just terrific. The orchestra has improved, and so has the engineering, which permits Casadesus to concentrate on capturing the vibrant textures of the outer movements (the finale especially), as well as the poignant lyricism of the third movement Intermezzo, with particular success.

He’s just as successful in Métaboles–a swift, confident, ideally flowing interpretation that really does convey a sense of organic growth from one section to the next. Once we get to the “Flamboyant” finale, we are shocked to discover that the journey has only lasted a bit more than sixteen minutes. There’s a lot of musical content here packed into a very small space, but this is one of those performances that immerses  you in Dutilleux’s personal sound world and operates with its own internal sense of time. It’s hypnotic.

Les Citations is an odd, bittersweet, lyrical little work in two movements scored for oboe, harpsichord, and percussion. As the title suggests, the piece quotes music by other composers, including Britten, Janequin, and Jehan Alain, but you’d be hard pressed to notice. It makes a fitting encore to the two larger pieces, and rounds out a superb program in every way.

Buy Now from Arkiv Music

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This One

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