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BETWEEN THE PAGES: COMPOSITION PROCESS IN DUTILLEUX'S SYMPHONY No. 2

  • Mauricio Beltrán-Miranda and Christian Morris
Abstract

This paper examines the sketches for Henri Dutilleux's Symphony No. 2, Le Double, held at the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel. The material is described in more detail than has been attempted hitherto, testing and challenging some previous statements and conclusions. It also reveals sketches that have remained hidden, leading to some surprising new facts, including the extent of Dutilleux's indecision regarding Le Double's instrumentation and his struggle to compose part of the second movement, as well as an early sketch for a different opening to the work. It seeks, finally, to show how some of the newly discovered material has implications for how we view the finished composition.

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1 The visit took place in October 2011.

2 This confirms Caroline Potter's conclusion that ‘very little information about second thoughts can be gleaned from these sources’. See Potter, Caroline, Henri Dutilleux: His Life and Works (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997), p. 145.

3 Potter, Dutilleux, p. 145.

4 Potter, Dutilleux, p. 145.

5 See Potter, Dutilleux; p.107. Jeremy Thurlow provides a useful summary of his own proposed sonata form alongside that of Daniel Humbert (Henri Dutilleux: l'oeuvre et le style musical (Paris: Champion, 1985)) and Potter. See Thurlow, Jeremy, Dutilleux…La musique des songes (Notre-Dame de Bliquetuit, France: Millénaire III Editions, 2006), p.96.

6 Potter, Dutilleux, pp. 147–8.

7 Potter, Dutilleux, p. 147.

8 As classified by Messiaen, Olivier, The Technique of My Musical Language (Paris: Leduc, 1944).

9 Thurlow, Dutilleux, p. 96.

10 On the sketch the ‘1’ is followed by an indistinct superscript line that may be ‘re’, reinforcing the idea of this being the first variation (‘1re’ being an accepted French abbreviation for première).

11 Potter, Caroline, ‘Dutilleux at 90’ in The Musical Times, Vol. 147, No. 1894 (2006), pp. 51–8, here p.54.

12 And, of course, from the original harpsichord idea at 3.

13 Thurlow, Dutilleux, p. 96.

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Tempo
  • ISSN: 0040-2982
  • EISSN: 1478-2286
  • URL: /core/journals/tempo
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