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Light, flux and precision are key components in the ultra-refined aesthetic of Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013), whom Morlot, the Seattle Symphony’s music director, knew personally.
They are unmistakable in this attractive conspectus of the French composer’s symphonic work, which explores abstract musical ideas in a traditional but highly personal manner – to engaging effect in the Debussyan First Symphony (1951).
“The Shadows of Time” (1997) is a mirage-like masterpiece in five movements, while the dreamlike cello concerto (1970), written for Rostropovich, finds a suitably agile and songful champion in Phillips.
This is the most distinctive of four discs on the Seattle orchestra’s new in-house label, celebrating Morlot’s French and American musical sympathies.
Symphony No 1, Tout un monde lointain, The Shadows of Time
Ludovic Morlot, Xavier Phillips