Thursday, July 30, 2015

Henri Dutilleux, 1916-2013

The enormously important French composer Henri Dutilleux has died, the BBC reports. More than anyone else, Dutilleux was a link to Debussy, taking ideas in that composer's late output and carrying them to their 20th century ends. His music was meticulously crafted, orchestrations filled with light, and melodic material shaped of mystery.

Henri Dutilleux, 1916-2013

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The enormously important French composer Henri Dutilleux has died, the BBC reports. More than anyone else, Dutilleux was a link to Debussy, taking ideas in that composer's late output and carrying them to their 20th century ends. His music was meticulously crafted, orchestrations filled with light, and melodic material shaped of mystery.

His music has been heard often locally. The Philadelphia Orchestra featured several of his works during the Charles Dutoit era, particularly in the 2010-11 season. The Cello Concerto was done in 1991; read a review here. Orchestra 2001 performed Mystere de l'Instant in 2011, covered here.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra commissioned works from him, including ``The Shadows of Time,'' Five Episodes for Orchestra, reviewed here.

In a program note for that concert, Dutilleux wrote: ``I doubt that man is improving his situation on earth as much as he thinks."

Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

Reach Peter at pdobrin@phillynews.com.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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