Dutilleux: Complete Orchestral Works / Tortelier, BBC PO
This boxed set of Tortelier's three previously issued Dutilleux CDs contains a bonus disc in the form of a new recording of the composer's latest work, The Shadows of Time. It's a good thing Chandos got it down. God only knows how long Seiji Ozawa's premiere version, an Erato CD "single", will remain available, assuming that it's still around even now. Tortelier's performance of this and all of these works leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. He captures the magic of Dutilleux's impressionistic sound world while at the same time never losing sight of each work's long-term tonal goal. This pays dividends both in the two concertos, whose dreamier passages, absent a firm controlling hand from the podium, can tempt the soloists to meander a bit, and in the more highly structured variations of Métaboles.
Perhaps the first disc, containing the two symphonies, stands out most, if only because these two sensational works have been around for a while and have yet to be fully appreciated and played as often as they deserve. Then there's the only available performance of the large orchestra version of Mystère de l'instant--but in the final analysis all of the music here belongs among the finest creations of the 20th century, and we can only hope that this painstaking perfectionist now entering his mid 80s keeps on adding to his select family of works. The recorded sound is fully worthy of the excellence of the performances. [12/14/2000]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Catalog Number: CHAN 9853(4)
Composer: Henri Dutilleux, Jehan-Ariste Alain
Conductor: Yan Pascal Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra