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."

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