All four works on this disc share Mstislav Rostropovich as a common denominator. As the dedicatee of Henri Dutilleux's Tout un monde lointain. and Witold Lutoslawski's Cello Concerto, in 1970 Rostropovich gave the first performances of both works, and six years later he was instrumental in commissioning a series of short seventieth-birthday tributes to the Swiss conductor and music patron Paul Sacher, to which both composers contributed. Quoting from the authoritative liner notes by the musicologist Arnold Whittal 'Lutoslawski and Dutilleux are near-contemporaries whose most characteristic music sounds very different. In Dutilleux's case, the hypnotic atmosphere, characteristic intensity and allusive expressiveness of his best compositions owe much to French literature, and it was his fascination with the poetry of Charles Baudelaire that led him to chose the title Tout un monde lointain from a poem which speaks of an utterly remote world of exotic places and sensations. While Dutilleux's music is concerned with echoing the abiding strangeness of the poet's ambiguous, erotic symbols and images, Lutoslawski's concerto offers musical drama of a very different kind: here the orchestra is much more adversarial, while the soloist might represent an independent-minded artist, determined to resist social conformity at all costs, and emerging from a titanic conflict at the end, bloody but unbowed.' These important scores, and the two solo pieces, are here performed by the Swiss cellist Christian Poltéra, who on three recent, highly acclaimed BIS releases has presented concertos and chamber works by Frank Martin, Arthur Honegger and Othmar Schoeck. A review in Gramophone likened Poltéra's 'inspirational intensity' in Martin's Concerto with that of the celebrated Du Pré/Barbirolli recording of the Elgar Concerto, while the reviewer of the Honegger disc in Fanfare described Poltéra as 'a resounding smash .his tone is lovely, technique lively, and he is able to sell this music like no others I have heard...'. Poltéra is here given expert support by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jac van Steen.
Extra material for download