The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
The much honoured French composer Henri Dutilleux was born in Angers on 22 January 1916, and studied piano, harmony and counterpoint with Victor Gallois at the Douai Conservatoire whilst still at school. Later, at the Paris Conservatoire, his composition teacher was Henri Paul Busser, and after military service, he worked in Paris as a pianist, arranger and teacher.
From 1942 he was choral director at the Paris Opera, and from 1945 until 1963 he was director of music productions at ORTF. From 1961 until 1970 he taught composition at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and then was a guest professor at the Paris Conservatoire.
He was successful in several genres, including chamber music and ballet. He first appeared on the international scene in 1951 with his first symphony. One of his most frequently performed works is Correspondances of 2003 for soprano and orchestra, and he produced two particularly fine violin concerti.
Dutilleux died in Paris on 22 May 2013, aged ninety-seven.
CD Spotlight. Delightful and Colourful - Geoff Pearce recommends a new Chandos recording of music by Henri Dutilleux. 'This music will delight all who hear it ...'
CD Spotlight. Time and Space - Geoff Pearce recommends accessible contemporary music for cello by French composer Dominique Lemaître, played by Dan Barrett. 'All the artists involved, and especially cellist Dan Barrett, produce truly inspirational music making.'
CD Spotlight. Something of Rare Beauty - Twentieth century oboe sonatas by York Bowen, Petr Eben, Henri Dutilleux, Eugène Bozza, Francis Poulenc and Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'What a fantastic and inspiring team Alex Klein and Phillip Bush make.'
CD Spotlight. Always Interesting - Orchestral music by Henri Dutilleux intrigues Geoff Pearce. 'The performances by soloists and orchestra are absolutely first class. Dutilleux should be heard much more than he is ...'
Ensemble. Mahler in Monte-Carlo - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Printemps des Arts Festival
Ensemble. Distinctly Gallic - Rosanna Ter-Berg and Leo Nicholson, heard by Mike Wheeler
Stimulating Fare - Eugene Alcalay plays Bartók, Dutilleux and Beethoven, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
An Enviable Technique - Matthew Schellhorn's Wigmore Hall début recital, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Giants? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's latest Provocative Thoughts
Alban Berg's 'younger brother' - Henri Dutilleux receives the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, by Tess Crebbin
Ensemble. Grace under pressure - Music by Henri Dutilleux, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Rebel to rebel - Beethoven, Berg and others in Cleveland and New York, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble - In virtuoso manner. Alice Neary and Gretel Dowdeswell at London's Wigmore Hall, heard by Bill Newman