This morning my great-great-grandmother was telling me about an ancient musical happening called the 2016 Grammys. Since it happened two whole days ago, she was only able to clearly recall the power and intensity of Kendrick Lamar's performance (which seems to be inspired by a play? Thanks, theater!) and little else.
She did, however, remember that Seattle Symphony's recording of Dutilleux's L’arbre des songes (which means the tree of dreams!) with violinist Augustin Hadelich won a Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. "That's two Grammys in two years!" she exclaimed. As she slowly faded into her mid-morning nap, she reminisced about the time when she and her old friend Taylor Swift would stay up late listening to Become Ocean, which won the Seattle Symphony a Grammy last year.
I have been told how to pronounce "Dutilleux" several times now, but my French is bad. I think you say "doo-till-oh." As long as you say it fast enough nobody will really care how you pronounce it. Anyway, Dutilleux doesn't get tons of play in the U.S., but music director Ludovic Morlot has been shining a big old light on him. You can tell because the Seattle Symphony is recording three Dutilleux albums. They've done two so far, and they're releasing the third later on in August, along with a sweet commemorative box set of all three recordings in honor of the weird-ass Frenchy composer's 100th anniversary.
When I say "weird-ass" I mean it in a loving way. Dutilleux's stuff is atonal and creepy, which is especially true of L'abre des songes. Look to this violin concerto when you think of scoring your next nightmare scene, or when you're taking a night train to Portland. But the piece isn't all nightmare. There are these little moments (like from minutes 13:00—14:00) where the violin sings sweetly amidst the gloom, offering a welcome respite to the feeling that you're about to be stabbed by a half-animate dream tree at any moment.
But anyway, congrats on Grammy #2, Seattle Symphony!