Henri Dutilleux was a unique musical figure of the 20th and 21st centuries; his music is defined by his great sense of lyricism and meticulous control, which underwent much thought and a gradual sense of change over the course of his career.
Dutilleux inevitably acquired a wide mix of contemporary influences, which added to his poetic vision. His music appears to be a sophisticated understatement, yet at the same time there is an expressive depth and mystery that sets his works apart from any particular musical movement of his time.
This according to “Remembering a musical era: Henri Dutilleux in conversation” by Janet Obi-Keller (Tempo LXIX/273 [July 2015] pp. 12–19).