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Dutilleux: Correspondences / Barbara Hannigan; Anssi Karttunen

Album Summary

>Dutilleux, Henri : Correspondances, for soprano & orchestra
>Dutilleux, Henri : Tout un monde lointain. . ., concerto for cello & orchestra
>Dutilleux, Henri : The Shadows of Time, for 3 children's voices & orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This remarkable album is released on the 97th birthday of a composer who has been working for more than seven decades and has had a profound influence on classical music. Born in 1916 and best known for his Violin Concerto, Henri Dutilleux continues the line of great masters of French music.

The album is a tribute to the composer by his former composition pupil, conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Director Laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Dutilleux's Correspondences (2003), a song cycle for soprano and orchestra, setting texts by Rainer Maria Rilke, Prithwindra Mukherjee, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Vincent van Gogh, has never been recorded. The composer asked his former pupil to record, while he could still attend the sessions - which he did - making this World Premiere recording a document of historical significance.

Joining the superb Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France is star soloist, soprano Barbara Hannigan, today's most highly regarded interpreter of 20th/21st century classical vocal music.

The album also includes new recordings of Tout un monde lointain for Cello and Orchestra (1970J) and the orchestral piece The Shadows of Time (1997).

Deutsche Grammophon recently released an album of Esa-Pekka Salonen's own compositions, including his violin Concerto (2009) and Nyx (2010).

Sunday Times, 10th February 2013
Salonen does these three masterpieces (1997's The Shadows of Time and the 1970 cello concerto Tout un monde lointain are the others) magnificent justice. In the 2003 title work, a close engagement with texts (by Rilke et al) is formidably reflected in Barbara Hannigan's soprano singing.

The Observer, 10th February 2013
It acquires - literally - added depth in this beautiful reading by the Grammy-winning British bass Matthew Rose, who sings it mostly a fourth lower than its original key. Schubert himself called them "terrifying" songs and confessed to his own emotional exhaustion at having written them. Rose and Matthewman, while in full, expressive form, convey that sense of being utterly wrung out.

BBC Music Magazine, May 2013
Here is an oeuvre, not only of precise, masterly workmanship, but infused with emotional warmth and, beyond that, with profound passions, evidenced not least in Dutilleux's sympathy for the persecuted...Hannigan is simply superb - faultless pitching, crystal clear words, a shining tone and total empathy with the composer's message...Throughout, Salonen and the orchestra do the composer's music proud. Bravo to all for a quite exceptional disc.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2013
Hannigan has made the music very much her own...a wonderful 97th birthday present for a musician who has patiently extended older French traditions of civility and high polish into an age of aesthetic meltdown.

MusicWeb International, 13th June 2013
Hannigan's singing is heartbreaking...[Karttunen] may not be as dramatic as [Rostropovich], but he gives an eloquent account. His playing high in the register is particularly beautiful and he captures all the detail...It is rather early to say, but I am confident this CD will be at or near the top of my list of recordings of the year.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
The recent Correspondences (2003 - the composer was born in 1916) is a song cycle taking its title from the poem by Baudelaire dealing with synesthesia. The atmosphere is movingly valedictory, each song packed with deeply expressive lines and sumptuous harmonies. Tout un Monde Lointain (A Whole World Far Away) (1970), a concerto for cello and orchestra written for Rostropovich, also takes its title from Baudelaire. The Shadows of Time (1995-7) is a tone poem in five sections depicting time, evil (in the personas of Ariel and, later, Hitler, as reported by Anne Frank), and thoughtful resignation, all inspired by the close of the 20th Century. The work is effective and subtly overwhelming. If you are a Dutilleux fan, like me, you'll need this for the new song cycle.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Alfortville, France (09/2012); Opéra Bastille, salle Liebermann, Paris, France (09/2012); Alfortville, France (12/2011); Opéra Bastille, salle Liebermann, Paris, France (12/2011).


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Works Details

>Dutilleux, Henri : Correspondances, for soprano & orchestra
  • Performer: Barbara Hannigan
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Ensemble: Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France
  • Running Time: 17 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2003

>Dutilleux, Henri : Tout un monde lointain. . ., concerto for cello & orchestra
  • Performer: Anssi Karttunen (Cello)
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Running Time: 26 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1967-1970

>Dutilleux, Henri : The Shadows of Time, for 3 children's voices & orchestra
  • Performers: Basile Buffin (Voice); Alexandre Selvestrel (Voice); Armand Sztykgold (Voice)
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Running Time: 20 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1995-1997