Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, 5/31 & 6/4

I don’t keep such accounts anymore, so when I learned of Henri Dutilleux’s death at the age of 97 on May 22 it came as a surprise to me that he’d been my favorite living classical composer for the last ten years or so. I’ve played his music on the show before, but this time it seemed right to do a two-hour tribute—Updoc, Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday—spelled by contrasting episodes from other recent departures: George Jones, Georges Moustaki, and Ray Manzarek. Dutilleux’s music extends a very French line of development from Fauré through Debussy, Ravel, and Koechlin into a postwar idiom that can go atonal without losing touch with exquisite tonal beauty, formal nuance, and endlessly subtle detail. There is nothing of system or dogma in it, so it’s no surprise that Dutilleux and Pierre Boulez did not get along. By all accounts, Dutilleux was a fine and generous fellow, an excellent teacher, an exemplary family man, and such a perfectionist in his work that his oeuvre, once he got this side of Ravel’s influence and into his own full voice, is pretty much one masterpiece after another, widely spaced across the years. If you like sheer beauty, this show’s for you.henridutilleux

2 Responses to “Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, 5/31 & 6/4”

  1. Terrific show. (I missed it the first two times.) I liked the juxtapostion of the George Jones with the Dutilleux.

  2. Old drinking buddies, those two. One favored wine and the other Jim Beam but I forget which.