Paavo Järvi / Orchestre de Paris

Dutilleux: Métaboles; Sur le même accord; Symphonie No. 1

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Henri Dutilleux was a perfectionist, famous for his careful revisions of his comparatively small output, and his orchestral music demonstrates his meticulous attention to sonorities and textures. The three works on this 2015 Erato CD are fine examples of Dutilleux's craft, drawn from three periods of his long career, yet all consistently show his thorough mastery of the orchestra. Despite its modernity, the Symphony No. 1 (1951) is clearly traditional in its four-movement structure and procedures, yet most listeners will be drawn to its strong neo-Classical flavor, its wide range of tone colors, and its varied moods. Somewhat more abstruse in method is Métaboles (1965), which at times has a sharp-edged brittleness, yet the music also reveals a deep lyricism and a sense of lush textures not found in the avant-garde music of the time. Sur le même accord (2002) is a nocturne for violin and orchestra that seems rather like a slow movement from a concerto, because the soloist's part is challenging, and the range of expression is much greater than the title nocturne would suggest. These performances by Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris, featuring violinist Christian Tetzlaff, were recorded live at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, ostensibly for radio broadcast, and the sound is clear and relatively noise-free, though one might wish that these many-layered pieces could be heard in a spacious studio recording with multichannel reproduction.

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