Author Topic: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)  (Read 62789 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #320 on: November 26, 2018, 03:12:09 PM »
Picked up a recording of the five Symphonies today. I was very impressed with No. 1. Its calm ending brought to mind Copland's Appalachian Spring.

That's nice. I think that he was a very great and under-appreciated composer. Even his animated film score 'L'Idee' I find very moving.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2066
  • Location: Wales
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #321 on: December 04, 2018, 01:57:18 AM »
Listening to the First Symphony again yesterday, and the theme that becomes prominent in the finale's coda sounds very very similar to "And did those feet in ancient time". Deliberate quotation, one wonders?

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #322 on: December 04, 2018, 07:14:13 AM »
Listening to the First Symphony again yesterday, and the theme that becomes prominent in the finale's coda sounds very very similar to "And did those feet in ancient time". Deliberate quotation, one wonders?

Interesting! Hadn't made that connection - must listen to it again.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #323 on: April 16, 2019, 10:54:51 AM »
I'm very pleased to see that a new DGG boxed set features that classic performance of symphonies 2 and 3 in a miniature version of its original LP sleeve design, which I much preferred to the CD release featuring, yet another, photograph of Herbert von K.This might seem the height of CD nutterdom but that LP was one of the great musical discoveries for me so I'm glad to have this inexpensive boxed set:

« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 12:19:24 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

  • Guest
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #324 on: April 16, 2019, 11:35:59 AM »
I'm very pleased to see that a new DGG boxed set features that classic performance of symphonies 2 and 3 in a miniature version of its original LP sleeve design, which I much preferred to the CD release featuring, yet another, photograph of Herbert von K.This might seen the height of CD nutterdom but that LP was one of the great musical discoveries for me so I'm glad to have this inexpensive boxed set:



The first CD edition I had of that recording did not have Karajan's picture.



Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #325 on: April 16, 2019, 12:23:23 PM »
The first CD edition I had of that recording did not have Karajan's picture.


That interesting - I think that was the cover design on the LP of those symphonies I first bought. The LP with the image of Honneger (above) I came across when I took it out the local record library - I never came across it in a shop, so I'm very pleased to have it now.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline aukhawk

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1201
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #326 on: April 17, 2019, 06:53:34 AM »
I'm very pleased to see that a new DGG boxed set features that classic performance of symphonies 2 and 3 in a miniature version of its original LP sleeve design,


I've got that LP, that sleeve, mouldering in my cellar among about 800 others.  Must be one of the best things HvK ever did on record.

SymphonicAddict

  • Guest
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #327 on: July 22, 2019, 04:45:46 PM »


Le Roi David in its original form. It seems it has no many mentions on this thread. What I can say about it is that is much better and more original than expected. There is a nice mix of styles (gregorian chant, jazz, ancient sounds evoking that era), and all those elements work more than convincingly. The reduced orchestration Honegger used here is remarkable, I could even say it was pioneer or an early attempt to use small orchestral forces in order to express Biblical musical depictions. The work sounds solemn, sometimes rousing, and eventually affecting. My only complaint is the speaker's narration, fortunately it's not properly present in the music but to connect the several sections. And the performance is so clean, rather well done in all respects. All in all, a quite interesting find, albeit perhaps not for all tastes I guess.

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #328 on: July 22, 2019, 11:42:52 PM »


Le Roi David in its original form. It seems it has no many mentions on this thread. What I can say about it is that is much better and more original than expected. There is a nice mix of styles (gregorian chant, jazz, ancient sounds evoking that era), and all those elements work more than convincingly. The reduced orchestration Honegger used here is remarkable, I could even say it was pioneer or an early attempt to use small orchestral forces in order to express Biblical musical depictions. The work sounds solemn, sometimes rousing, and eventually affecting. My only complaint is the speaker's narration, fortunately it's not properly present in the music but to connect the several sections. And the performance is so clean, rather well done in all respects. All in all, a quite interesting find, albeit perhaps not for all tastes I guess.
I remember asking my parents to buy it for me one Christmas. I enjoyed it and, like you, found some sections affecting. The double LP set was great because it also introduced me to the music of that other fine Swiss composer Frank Martin and probably my favourite work by him 'In Terra Pax':
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #329 on: June 25, 2020, 10:28:02 AM »
Mario Venzago's new Honegger disc is sensational IMO. My wife sent me out shopping a few weeks ago (context) and I turned on the car radio and heard the last two movements of the 'Liturgique' Symphony. There was no way I was getting out of the car until I heard who the conductor was - it was a live concert conducted by Mario Venzago. At home I rushed to the computer in a panicky search to see if Venzago had recorded the work and was delighted to see that there was a recent release. I'm happy to report that this is just as magnificent a performance. Maybe it is even the same one as I noticed that the recordings date from 2012 and 2015. The 'Liturgique' IMO is the best since Karajan and possibly even better. The moving bird-song epilogue is taken MUCH slower than usual and IMO is incredibly moving - like no other performance. If you only wanted one Honegger CD in your collection I would recommend this one without hesitation. 'Rugby' (a work new to me) makes a great start to the disc. The end of Symphony No.5, as it fades away is very poignant, reminding me, in spirit, of the end of Shostakovich's 15th Symphony and the quality of the recording is the best that I have heard:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 50466
  • Mieczysław Weinberg (1919 - 1996)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Weinberg, Myaskovsky, Rachmaninov, Glazunov, Schnittke, Dvořák, Martinů, Villa-Lobos, Sibelius, Nielsen, Tubin, Holmboe, Tveitt, Barber, Copland, W. Schuman, Diamond, Rouse, Bloch, Honegger, Walton, Respighi, Casella, Malipiero
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #330 on: June 25, 2020, 10:39:36 AM »
Excellent to read, Jeffrey. I’ll have to revisit that Venzago recording. I recall it being really good. I believe I bought it when it was released, but have only listened to it once. I’ll rectify this soon.
“There will be sunshine again and the violins will sing of peace on earth.” - Closing line from Weinberg’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 79

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1258
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #331 on: June 25, 2020, 03:23:11 PM »
I remember posting a few impressions from me on that Venzago recording.  :-\

Ahh, I just remembered the crash negative effects.  :(

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #332 on: June 25, 2020, 09:25:41 PM »
Thanks Cesar and John. Yes, I was puzzled that there had apparently been no posts on this thread, before my one about the Venzano recording of the 'Liturgique' Symphony, for about a year, although I remembered some recent discussion about it. Then, thanks to Cesar's post, I remembered 'the GMG crash'
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #333 on: June 25, 2020, 09:29:07 PM »
Excellent to read, Jeffrey. I’ll have to revisit that Venzago recording. I recall it being really good. I believe I bought it when it was released, but have only listened to it once. I’ll rectify this soon.
I don't think you'll regret doing so John.  I think it's a most extraordinary disc - one of my CDs of the year (along with Schnittke's 8th Symphony  ;)) I'm sure.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 50466
  • Mieczysław Weinberg (1919 - 1996)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Weinberg, Myaskovsky, Rachmaninov, Glazunov, Schnittke, Dvořák, Martinů, Villa-Lobos, Sibelius, Nielsen, Tubin, Holmboe, Tveitt, Barber, Copland, W. Schuman, Diamond, Rouse, Bloch, Honegger, Walton, Respighi, Casella, Malipiero
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #334 on: June 26, 2020, 05:46:30 AM »
I don't think you'll regret doing so John.  I think it's a most extraordinary disc - one of my CDs of the year (along with Schnittke's 8th Symphony  ;)) I'm sure.

Very nice, Jeffrey. I’ll try to give the Liturgique from that Venzago recording a listen tonight.
“There will be sunshine again and the violins will sing of peace on earth.” - Closing line from Weinberg’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 79

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 17401
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #335 on: June 26, 2020, 08:24:54 AM »
Very nice, Jeffrey. I’ll try to give the Liturgique from that Venzago recording a listen tonight.
Excellent John. I'll be interested to hear your views.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 50466
  • Mieczysław Weinberg (1919 - 1996)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Weinberg, Myaskovsky, Rachmaninov, Glazunov, Schnittke, Dvořák, Martinů, Villa-Lobos, Sibelius, Nielsen, Tubin, Holmboe, Tveitt, Barber, Copland, W. Schuman, Diamond, Rouse, Bloch, Honegger, Walton, Respighi, Casella, Malipiero
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #336 on: June 26, 2020, 08:27:30 AM »
Excellent John. I'll be interested to hear your views.

Will do, Jeffrey. 8)
“There will be sunshine again and the violins will sing of peace on earth.” - Closing line from Weinberg’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 79

Offline aukhawk

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1201
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
« Reply #337 on: June 26, 2020, 11:24:00 PM »
My mini-review of that Venzago recording fell into the black hole.   ???



As I recall I descibed the Liturgique as 'muscular' and 'weighty' or some such and also commented on the very fine recording with plenty of bottom-end heft.  I also commented that this vigorous approach was unexpected (by me) from Venzago, who I associate with a restrained, even underplayed, style.  (Which I happen to like very much, in Bruckner - putting me in a minority of one  :D )
On further listening I don't really enjoy the hard braking midway through the last movement - transitioning from 'slightly quicker than Karajan' to 'much slower than Karajan'.  But that'a a minor quibble.  And of course re-listening to Karajan just confirms what a wonderful performance and recording that is.
I also very much like this recording of the 5th - bringing to life a symphony I haven't really enjoyed before.
I don't find much to interest me in Rugby (which I also have as part of the Dutoit symphony set).