Henri Dutilleux

Tout un monde lointain. . ., concerto for cello & orchestra

    Description by Michael Jameson

    Although it is one of the most significant concertante works for cello and orchestra to have appeared during the second part of the twentieth century, the words cello concerto do not appear anywhere on the score of Tout un Monde Lointain (A Whole Remote World). Dutilleux took this title from Baudelaire's poem "La chevelure," from which the individual titles of the five movements are also taken. These ("Enigma," "Gaze," "Surges," "Mirrors," and "Hymn") suggest something of the atmosphere of the whole, but are not to be interpreted too literally. Structurally, the work is extremely complex. The opening movement sets out a basic dialogue between solo cello and orchestra, wide-ranging in tempo and registral effects, but with no sense of resolution between the protagonists. The music is cast as a set of variations on the 12-note theme heard at the outset and cross-referenced in each of the successive movements. The second and fourth sections are slow moving, while the third has the function of a scherzo, with solo writing of enormous technical difficulty. The final movement ("Hymn") is in the form of a vibrant Allegro, though the enigmatic overall feel of the work is still evident here. Dutilleux was commissioned to write the work by Igor Markevitch, who wanted a new concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich to perform with his Lamoureux Orchestra in the mid-1960s. Ironically, by the time Dutilleux began to write it, Markevitch had been replaced and the work was premiered by Rostropovich and the Paris Orchestra in Aix-en-Provence in 1970.


    1. Enigme
    2. Regard
    3. Houles
    4. Miroirs
    5. Hymne

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Onyx ONYX 4173
    2016 Seattle Symphony SSM 1013
    2015 Warner Classics 0825646090198
    2015 Decca 4788353
    2015 Erato 0825646047987
    2015 Harmonia Mundi HMC 902209
    2014 Seattle Symphony SSM 1001
    2013 Erato 2564642755
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon 4791180
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 Erato 5099961581029
    2011 Finlandia
    2009 BIS 1777
    2009 Aeon 0861
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099921750
    2008 EMI Classics 5678672
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920687
    2008 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Arte Nova 928130
    2003 EMI
    2002 Angel Records 67868
    2002 Virgin 545502
    2000 Chandos 9853
    1997 Chandos 9565
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 749304
    Finlandia 95866