Dutilleux: Le Loup and other works
Adam Walker; Juliana Koch; Jonathan Davies; Sinfonia of London/John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5263


Written by James Nightingale

Le Loup is a ballet by the French composer Henri Dutilleux, dating from 1953. It’s a work in the tradition of French ballet music of the mid 20th century, featuring vivid orchestration, energetic rhythms and memorable melodies. Originally staged by Roland Petit’s Ballet de Champs-Élysées, Dutilleux thought the complete ballet to be intrinsically linked to the choreography and would not sanction concert performance of the work.

Thankfully, he eventually changed his mind. This new recording from the Sinfonia of London, conducted by John Wilson, is a splendid reading of this ballet. Completing the CD are three of Dutilleux’s woodwind pieces, newly orchestrated by Kenneth Hesketh. These new versions of the Flute Sonatine, Oboe Sonata and the Sarabande et Cortege for bassoon masterfully capture Dutilleux’s style from that time. Taking cues from Dutilleux’s early symphonies and Le Loup, Hesketh has brought out the multilayered textures of the original piano parts in brilliant orchestral colour. The woodwind soloists are of the highest calibre, ensuring that this is a most enjoyable recording.