Orchestre National de Lille, Darrell Ang – Dutilleux: Symphony No. 2 (2017) [ProStudioMasters FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Henri Dutilleux – Symphony No. 2 – Orchestre National de Lille, Darrell Ang (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:02:37 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters | Booklet, Front Cover | ©  Naxos Rights US, Inc.
Recorded at L’Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille, France, from 2nd to 7th September, 2015 (tracks 1-6), and on 24th and 25th March, 2016 (tracks 7-16)

Henri Dutilleux’s perfectionism resulted in a distinctive and individual musical language of rare poetry and invention. The interplay of stereophonic and polyrhythmic effects and jazzy brass writing in Symphony No. 2 ‘Le Double’ forms, in the composer’s own words, ‘a musical play of mirrors and of contrasting colours’, while Timbres, espaces, mouvement is Dutilleux’s response to Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, a ‘longing for the infinity of nature’. The series of snapshots in Mystère de l’instant evokes fleeting and almost magical moments in time, its cumulative power indicative of a consummate composer at the height of his powers.

Outside of his native France, the music of Henri Dutilleux largely remains on the periphery of the popular repertoire where it is highly regarded but seldom played. Born in 1916, his musical life was interrupted at a critical point when the German’s invaded France at the outset of the Second World War. He then spent a long period working on the staff of French Radio and was forty-seven before he dedicated his life to composition. Searching, like most French composers of that time, for a personal style of writing, he was highly-self critical, disowning or destroying much of his early music, the remainder often subject of revision. The present disc covers the second half of his life, the earliest work being the multicoloured Second Symphony completed in 1959. Hugely complex, it is scored for a chamber group of twelve mixed instruments and large symphony orchestra, his idea being to explore their differences and similarities. In three movements it immediately rivets attention with a fascinating mosaic of sounds followed by a central movement of relaxation. Move onto the finale which opens with an eruption of brilliant colours, often using jazzy rhythms to bring added effervescence. I love the work every time I hear it, though the missing ingredient is the cement to bind this mosaic together and lodge it in our memory. Seven years later he began work of Timbres, espace, movement, which again experiments with sound juxtaposition, this time omitting violins and viola, but employing an array of percussion. Finally the 1989 score, Mystere de l’instant for 24 strings, cimbalom and percussion, its ten short sections recalling Dutilleux’s keen sense of sound. I guess all three works are exceedingly difficult to play, and a quick comparison against alternative recordings would point to this one—conducted by Darrell Ang—as being outstanding. So too is the sound quality. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013)
Symphony No. 2, “Le double”
1. I. Animato, ma misterioso 00:07:44
2. II. Andantino sostenuto 00:09:22
3. III. Allegro fuocoso – Calmato 00:10:52
Timbres, espace, mouvement, “La Nuit étoilée”
4. I. Nébuleuse 00:08:23
5. II. Interlude – 00:03:47
6. III. Constellations 00:07:31
Mystère de l’instant
7. I. Appels – 00:02:02
8. II. Échos – 00:01:18
9. III. Prismes – 00:01:36
10. IV. Espaces lontains – 00:01:19
11. V. Litanies – 00:01:46
12. VI. Choral – 00:00:51
13. VII. Rumeurs – 00:01:01
14. VIII. Soliloques – 00:01:07
15. IX. Métamorphoses (sur le nom Sacher) – 00:02:18
16. X. Embrasement 00:01:40

Françoise Rivalland, cimbalom
Orchestre National de Lille
Darrell Ang, conductor