French cuts squeeze composer centenary

French cuts squeeze composer centenary


norman lebrecht

July 15, 2015

Our chers amis at are raising the curtain on next year’s plans for the Henri Dutilleux centenary. Leading the commemorative charge is conductor Pascal Rophé with the Orchestre National des pays de la Loire.

They have just recorded four unknown works by Dutilleux for BIS. But local government cutbacks are putting their plans in jeopardy. Full story here (in English).

dutilleux funeral


  • Harold Lewis says:

    Thank you for this news, Norman. It’s great to know the disc will include the complete Le Loup. I saw the Roland Petit company dance the ballet in London in the 1950s, alongside Jean-Michel Damase’s Piège de Lumière (another neglected score that deserves a complete recording). I always regretted Dutilleux’s rejection of his early ballet, and was delighted to see it revived a year or two ago with a new production in Paris. In my view it’s a fine, immensely memorable and truly symphonic ballet score.

    • John Borstlap says:

      ‘Le Loup’ is brilliant music and obviously rejected because it did not fit the idea of ‘modernity’ that was appearing in the fifties. It is music in the tradition of ‘Les Six’, which fell out of fashion. What a nonsensical ideology modernism was… even Dutilleux falling for it, although he did not go as far as Boulez.

      • John Borstlap says:

        PS: On re-listening to ‘Le Loup’, the thing that comes across the strongest is the ‘unbuttonned’ expression and the fluent, symphonic flair which D’s later, more ‘difficult’ music mostly lacks. Although I always admired and respected Dutilleux, ‘Le Loup’ indicates that maybe an altogether different composer was lost. This piece manages to be personal while using a more traditional language than the later music which often sounds a bit constipated and forced.