Dutilleux, Bartok, Stravinksy

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bartok,Dutilleux,Stravinksy
ALBUM TITLE: Anne-Sophie Mutter
WORKS: Sur le meme accord
PERFORMER: Anne-Sophie MutterFrench National Orchestra/Kurt MasurBoston SO/OzawaPhilharmonic Orchestra/Sacher
CATALOGUE NO: 477 5376
Henri Dutilleux has always had his admirers and he has long commanded respect, but only in recent years has his music received the wider recognition and the performances that it thoroughly deserves. This first recording of the recent Sur le même accord will only stoke his reputation further, for this compact mini violin concerto contains the essence of what makes his music compelling. As the title implies, all of the material is derived from a single six-note chord, plucked at the opening by the soloist. Any thoughts of a minimal, never mind minimalist, approach are dismissed within seconds, as this typically restrained material forms the basis of a constantly evolving dialogue between violin and orchestra. Displaying by turns searing lyricism, brusque animation and a mysterious luminescence, it feels nothing like a miniature, and yet it lasts less than nine minutes. Anne-Sophie Mutter, for whom Dutilleux wrote the work, is, predictably, a magnificent advocate in this splendid live recording (is there any chance of her recording the earlier concerto, L’arbre des songes?), while the French National Orchestra under Kurt Masur is a sensitive foil. The coupling of Mutter’s much earlier accounts of Bartók and Stravinsky is no less enticing. These were key figures in Dutilleux’s development, and the juxtaposition of the new work with Bartók’s Second Concerto is a masterstroke. These are full-blooded performances, with plenty of nuance and finesse, although, if pressed, Kyung-Wha Chung (Decca) is just a little more rounded in both pieces. That said, this disc can be recommended wholeheartedly. Christopher Dingle