Saturday, July 15, 2017

Henri Dutilleux; Witold Lutosławski - Cello Concertos (Mstislav Rostropovich)


Information

Composer: Henri Dutilleux; Witold Lutosławski
  1. Dutilleux - Tout un monde lointain... : I. Enigme (Très libre et flexible)
  2. Dutilleux - Tout un monde lointain... : II. Regard (Extrêmement calme)
  3. Dutilleux - Tout un monde lointain... : III. Houles (Large et ample)
  4. Dutilleux - Tout un monde lointain... : IV. Miroirs (Lent et extatique)
  5. Dutilleux - Tout un monde lointain... : V. Hymne (Allegro)
  6. Lutosławski - Cello Concerto: Introduction -
  7. Lutosławski - Cello Concerto: Four episodes -
  8. Lutosławski - Cello Concerto: Cantilena -
  9. Lutosławski - Cello Concerto: Finale

Mstislav Rostropovich, cello
Orchestre de Paris
Serge Baudo, conductro (1-5)
Witold Lutosławski, conductor (6-9)

Date: 1975
Label: EMI


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Review

ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 8

Mstislav Rostropovich not only is one of the major musical personalities (and most gifted performers) of any era, but he also has enriched the cello repertoire in ways that have completely redefined the importance of the instrument and the artists who play it. He also has inspired virtually every modern composer who has ever worked with him to do their very best work, and these two concertos offer a case in point. Witold Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto charts a course from what can only be called an autistic beginning to a gradually unfolding lyricism and expressiveness. It’s a difficult work, but so intensely communicative is Rostropovich’s view of it that there’s never a moment’s doubt about what the music means and how confidently the composer takes the piece where he wants it to go.

Henri Dutilleux’s evocative concerto “Tout un monde lointain…” charts a course from dreamy introspection to episodes of outright violence, all decked out in luminous orchestration of the utmost transparency and refinement. It goes without saying that Rostropovich’s performance is a commanding one, despite several fine subsequent recordings. The engineers in this piece particularly place him too far forward for optimal balance (the Lutoslawski is better in this respect), but otherwise the recording sounds very fine in this latest remastering. An unexpectedly bold addition to EMI’s Great Recordings of the Century series, this release surely deserves the appellation. [10/26/2002]

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

More reviews:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Dec02/Dutilleux_Rostropovich.htm
https://www.amazon.com/Dutilleux-Cello-Concerto-Lutoslawski/dp/B00006I0CJ

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Henri Dutilleux (2 January 1916 – 22 May 2013) was a French composer active mainly in the second half of the 20th century. His work, which garnered international acclaim, followed in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Albert Roussel, but in an idiosyncratic style. Some of his notable compositions include a piano sonata, two symphonies, a cello concerto, a violin concerto and a string quartet. Some of these are regarded as masterpieces of 20th-century classical music. A perfectionist with a strong sense of artistic integrity, he allowed only a small number of his works to be published and often repeatedly revised them.

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Witold Lutosławski (25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades. He earned many international awards and prizes. His compositions (of which he was a notable conductor) include four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, a string quartet, instrumental works, concertos, and orchestral song cycles. Lutosławski's music incorporates his own methods of building harmonies and the use of aleatoric processes.

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Mstislav Rostropovich (March 27, 1927 – April 27, 2007), was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He is considered to be one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century. In addition to his interpretations and technique, he was well known for both inspiring and commissioning new works, which enlarged the cello repertoire more than any cellist before or since. He inspired and premiered over 100 pieces, forming long-standing friendships and artistic partnerships with composers such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutosławski, Olivier Messiaen and Benjamin Britten.

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