Henri Dutilleux, 1970.
Cello Concerto - V - Hymne (Allegro).

Stunningly powerful, intense, dark and beatutiful. Henri Dutilleux's Cello Concerto, entitled "Tout un Monde Lointain", is perhaps the finest work for cello written in the 20th century. Commissioned for the late great Rostropovich, it is the ultimate in feeling, of which Rostropovich was a master at expressing. The work is so intense at times that it may take quite a few listens to get a decent idea of what this work is about.

Dutilleux' music has been inspired heavily by two forces, the poetry of Baudelaire and the art of Van Gogh. Here in the cello concerto it is from the book of poetry entitled "Les Fleurs du mal" that Dutilleux draws on most. In fact the titles of the movements are drawn from this book (movement 5 is drawn from "Les Épaves"). Here in movement five is the culmination of the first four movements. It begins with an explosion of energy, which slowly subsides to the lonely voice of the soloist.

Selected recordings recommended for purchasing:
Rostropovich with the Orchestre de Paris (conducted by Baudo) version available here.

Artwork: Vincent Van Gogh // Starry Night Over the Rhone


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