Henri Dutilleux (born 1916) is one of France’s leading composers, though until recently his music received more attention in the United States than in Europe. A fiercely independent composer who pursues his own musical path regardless of fashion, he has never courted the public eye, yet in this book he is revealed as a composer very much engaged with the work of other artists from all spheres. Caroline Potter’s fascinating survey examines the relation of some of these artists to Dutilleux’s music. In literature, the notions of memory and time found in the writings of Baudelaire and Proust have had profound effects on his compositional development, whilst the visual arts have informed his aesthetic ideas and their expression in both his music and even in his meticulously produced scores. Always a perfectionist, Dutilleux now rejects those earlier works which are not representative of his mature style. By analysing these early pieces, Dr Potter traces the evolution of his musical style, and she investigates his compositional process and use of particular referential devices in later works. Whilst his music is unequivocally of our time, Dutilleux has never lost the ability to communicate with a wide-ranging audience. Drawing on interviews with the composer, this study provides penetrating insights into this complex composer’s musical world.
’…a well-researched exposition of the facts of [Dutilleux’s] musical creativity… The Dutilleux conversations represent an invaluable source yet to be properly mined and should be considered essential reading for all scholars of French and twentieth-century music.’ Notes
Contents: Preface and Acknowledgements; The Life of Henri Dutilleux; Dutilleux's Early Works; The Influence of Literature on Dutilleux's Music: Proust and the Concept of Memory - Dutilleux and Baudelaire: Memory, Duality and Escapism; Referential Devices and Tonal Backgrounds; Dutilleux and the Visual Arts; Dutilleux's Compositional Process; Dutilleux and the Contemporary Musical World; Appendix: Chronological Catalogue of Dutilleux's Compositions; Bibliography; Index.