Dutilleux: Tout un monde lointain…; Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher; L’arbre des songes

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COMPOSERS: Dutilleux
LABELS: Virgin
WORKS: Tout un monde lointain…; Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher; L’arbre des songes
PERFORMER: Renaud Capuçon (violin), Truls Mørk (cello); Radio France PO/Myung-Whun Chung
CATALOGUE NO: VC 5 45502 2
Henri Dutilleux informs his aesthetic of dreams with a profound feeling for poetry. The cello concerto (Tout un monde lointain…), for instance, relies heavily on Baudelaire’s verses. But, as these outstanding performances eloquently demonstrate, Dutilleux’s musical language goes far beyond mere imagery. It is as concerned with making poetry out of music as with making music out of poetry.

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Cello and orchestra are marvellously poised in Tout un monde lointain…, the interplay of soft-focus dream sequences and flickering virtuosity evocatively delineating the feeling of travelling and distance. Mørk’s smoothly phrased cello-playing in ‘Regard’ floats seductively, and Chung brilliantly highlights the shimmering orchestral timbres in ‘Miroirs’. The magnificent climax in ‘Hymne’ and its final evaporation are striking. Mørk also achieves the perfect balance between reverential homage and exuberance with a dazzling tonal palette in the Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher – a tribute to the Swiss conductor and musical patron Paul Sacher.

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Renaud Capuçon is no less accomplished as soloist in the violin concerto (L’arbre des songes). Bold splashes of instrumental colour (enhanced by Dutilleux’s preference for unusual combinations of pitched percussion) and the violin’s evolutionary branching motifs generate a richly decorative illustration of the work’s absorbing organic personality.