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Andrew Morris
Fanfare, March 2019

…The First Symphony was Dutilleux’s first work for orchestra, it’s a staggeringly imaginative and tightly argued beast that positively glitters with orchestral invention. The whole thing is a like a coiled spring, tightening from the first-movement Passacaglia (more than a hint of Britten’s Peter Grimes here) to the episodic finale… Casadesus directs an alert and virtuosic performance… © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Steven Kruger
Fanfare, January 2019

I’m amused to see how many short chords it contains, with quick cut-offs. Dutilleux certainly knew the Szell personality. The music comes out sounding like him, even when Casadesus is the conductor.

To its credit, Naxos has supplied flawless sound. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, January 2019

Dutilleux’s original sense of color comes through in idiosyncratic solos for oboe and harpsichord. This is the most forbiddingly modernist piece here, but it is made attractive by Dutilleux’s mastery of timbre and contrast. This is a fascinating album that yields new pleasure with each hearing. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



The Arts Desk, January 2019

This new recording is the best I’ve heard: Jean-Claude Casadesus’s Orchestre National de Lille play superbly, and Naxos’s engineering allows every detail to register. © 2019 The Arts Desk




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, November 2018

After his 1977 recording for Calliope, Jean-Claude Casadesus returns to Dutilleux’s First Symphony with a highly colourful and well elaborated account. The performance of Métaboles is no less exciting, and the chamber music group performing Les Citations matches the high level of the orchestral performances. © 2018 Pizzicato




John France
MusicWeb International, October 2018

A great CD and a splendid addition to the Naxos survey of Henri Dutilleux’s music. …the present CD is satisfying in every respect. I look forward to further releases in this series. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, October 2018

Jean-Claude Casadesus first recorded the work a few decades ago for Forlane, if memory serves, with this same orchestra. That was a good performance, but this remake is just terrific. The orchestra has improved, and so has the engineering, which permits Casadesus to concentrate on capturing the vibrant textures of the outer movements (the finale especially). © 2018 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2018

Henri Dutilleux was forty-seven before he decided to dedicate his life to composition, though by then he had written a number of highly regarded works. That era included the First Symphony from 1951, his first purely orchestral score, the work soon to be taken up by a number of major conductors. If that augured well for the future, his music outside of his native France stood, and still stands, on the periphery of the concert repertoire. He was his own worst enemy, and as a perfectionist he was to frequently revisit and revise his works, while much that he wrote was destroyed. That was particularly true of his earlier scores, the symphony being one composition that avoided his further scrutiny. In four movements, and calling for a very large orchestra, it included a much extended percussion department, the woodwind containing cor anglais, bass clarinet and contrabassoon. For the greater part they were used sparingly, and always in a tonality that dates back to the time of Albert Roussel, the sound pictures often having a quiet erotic quality. Yet when he does expand into his full resources in the scherzo and finale, we move into the vivid world of Stravinsky’s ballet music with strong and purposeful rhythmic patterns. Thirteen years later he was invited to write a work to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Cleveland Orchestra, the result being Mataboles, a continuous score in five sections and refers to the biological process of continual change. Though at times showcasing the orchestra’s various departments, it is not an outgoing score, but is rather withdrawn before we eventually reach the final called Flamboyant. Starting out as a Seventy-fifth birthday tribute to the tenor, Peter Pears, Les Citations is scored for a small group of four performers. Here, and throughout the disc, I find the Lille orchestra is very much in a league of its own in present day France, and with its founding conductor, Jean-Claude Casadesus, they allow the music to emerge at its own natural tempos while creating the most exquisite tonal colours. Fabulous sound quality, and strongly recommended. © 2018 David’s Review Corner



Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, September 2018

The plucked, ostinato double bass lines that open the first movement lay down the foundation for the whole edifice, as other instrumental groups of the orchestra, at various stages, reiterate the same motif but with ever increasing determination up until the brass section proclaims it with finality. …The music gradually recedes in a flurry of refined orchestral details and eventually fades away with expressive melancholy. Henri Dutilleux is definitely a composer that deserves to be extricated from the fringes and repatriated to the central repertoire. © 2018 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review





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