GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: vandermolen on August 30, 2007, 11:43:08 PM

Title: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on August 30, 2007, 11:43:08 PM
Not much on Honegger so far. He is one of my favourites composers. Last night I heard, on the car radio, what sounded like a great performance of the "Liturgique" Symphony from the Proms in London. Actually I only heard the last movement but the performance (by Maris Jansons and the Bavarian RSO) was wonderful, taken very slowly. The bird-song type epilogue is one of the most moving things I know in classical music.

I like all the symphonies, especially the bleak No 5 as well as the oratorio "Joan of Arc" and also some of the film music on Marco Polo; "L'Idee" and "Les Miserables" in particular. "Pastorale d'ete" is another beautiful, inspiriting score.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Harry on August 30, 2007, 11:57:38 PM
His Orchestal works were the first thing for me. Influenced my choosing further benign composers. The Chambermusic came later, and took me a while to digest, but nowadays I could not do without him. For me his music is deeply moving.

A few of the recordings I have.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Harry on August 30, 2007, 11:59:28 PM
 :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mark on August 31, 2007, 12:41:25 AM
Not much on Honegger so far. He is one of my favourites composers. Last night I heard, on the car radio, what sounded like a great performance of the "Liturgique" Symphony from the Proms in London. Actually I only heard the last movement but the performance (by Maris Jansons and the Bavarian RSO) was wonderful, taken very slowly. The bird-song type epilogue is one of the most moving things I know in classical music.

I'll be uploading that Prom concert in full (along with several others) in the next few weeks. Keep your eyes on the Proms thread. ;)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on August 31, 2007, 01:55:46 AM
Thanks Harry and Mark.

Harry,

Can you recommend any chamber music, in particular, as I am largely unfamiliar with it?

Bloch is a composer whose orchestral music led me on to his (very fine) chamber music.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Harry on August 31, 2007, 02:02:02 AM
Thanks Harry and Mark.

Harry,

Can you recommend any chamber music, in particular, as I am largely unfamiliar with it?

Bloch is a composer whose orchestral music led me on to his (very fine) chamber music.

You mean from Honegger, or in general?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on August 31, 2007, 02:19:08 AM
You mean from Honegger, or in general?

Honegger please.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Dundonnell on August 31, 2007, 05:16:19 AM
I too admire Honegger's music, especially the 2nd, 3rd and 5th symphonies. I treasure the famous Karajan version of Nos. 2 and 3(which I believe is still hard to beat!) but I also have versions of No.3 "Liturgique" conducted by Michel Plasson, Mario Klemens, Paul Sacher and Takuo Yuasa-all acquired because I was seeking other works by Honegger on the respective discs!

"Jeanne d'Arc" has been mentioned. I would also like to draw attention to Honegger's other interesting choral works like "Le Roi David",
"Cris du Monde", "Les danse du mort" and the beautiful Christmas Cantata. All of these are worth hearing! Try the Mime Symphony "Horace Victorieux" as well!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kullervo on August 31, 2007, 05:26:13 AM
Just bought this disc recently and I love it:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/61KH4YX3HAL._SS500_.jpg)

I love Honegger. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite composers.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on August 31, 2007, 06:42:21 AM
Just bought this disc recently and I love it:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/61KH4YX3HAL._SS500_.jpg)

I love Honegger. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite composers.

That's a very good disc and there is a fine Suppraphon version too.

L'idee is a very unusual and moving animated film score which I'd also recommend:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Honegger-LIdee-Deserteur-Je-tattendrai/dp/B0000045YZ/ref=sr_1_1/203-8357764-4422343?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1188574799&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kullervo on August 31, 2007, 07:29:08 AM
Thank you. This disc has been on my wish list for some time now:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000004A3T/ref=wl_it_dp/105-2357417-4567604?ie=UTF8&coliid=I17NL7LKWB30NH&colid=10LPC89KWQ50A

I actually have the film L'idee on my computer... need to watch that. :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: head-case on August 31, 2007, 08:31:30 AM
Jarvi's recording of Honegger 5 on Chandos is remarkable.  The dreary grinding chords of the first movement have just the right feel of strain without harshness, which facilitates the transition the more playfully ironic second movement.  The other version I've recently listened to, the Plasson, fails miserably in my view because the first movement is overdriven, making the second movement seem like a pathetic twittering in the distance.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on August 31, 2007, 09:34:26 AM
The jazzy little cello concerto is a gem. I know versions by Milos Sadlo on Supraphon, as well as a version by Slava on the 10 CD Brillian Rostropovich Collection.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: scottscheule on August 31, 2007, 10:44:42 AM
Just bought this disc recently and I love it:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/61KH4YX3HAL._SS500_.jpg)


Seconded.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Brewski on August 31, 2007, 10:48:44 AM
I got this Scherchen version of Pacific 231 recently and like it a lot.  (The Petrushka is good, too, although I'm spoiled by the sparkling sound on Chailly's recording.)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/31F482ERCML._AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kullervo on August 31, 2007, 10:53:22 AM
I'd also recommend Yuasa and New Zealand SO's recording of the 3rd with the three symphonic movements and Pastorale d'Ete. Excellent sound and the best Rugby I've heard.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Harry on August 31, 2007, 11:39:56 AM
Honegger please.

Well a good start are the SQ 1-3.
The Violin Sonates and the Piano Trio.
He has written many small scaled Chamber music, very attractive, but the above mentioned works are in my opinion essential.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kullervo on August 31, 2007, 11:42:36 AM
His Orchestal works were the first thing for me. Influenced my choosing further benign composers. The Chambermusic came later, and took me a while to digest, but nowadays I could not do without him. For me his music is deeply moving.

A few of the recordings I have.

As soon as I have the money, that box is MINE!  :D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: uffeviking on August 31, 2007, 05:13:50 PM
Another very fascinating work by Honegger is his Nicolas de Flue, called a 'dramatic legend'

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=5534&name_role1=1&comp_id=74257&bcorder=15&name_id=59658&name_role=3
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: scottscheule on August 31, 2007, 05:59:53 PM
Incidentally, on the IMSLP there's been a lot of Honegger postings lately. 

http://imslp.org/wiki/Symphony_No.3%2C_H_186_%28Honegger%2C_Arthur%29

I'm still waiting for Joan at the Stake.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: quintett op.57 on September 01, 2007, 02:56:25 AM
The jazzy little cello concerto is a gem. I know versions by Milos Sadlo on Supraphon, as well as a version by Slava on the 10 CD Brillian Rostropovich Collection.
My favourite Honegger's work so far
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on September 01, 2007, 04:33:03 AM
Well a good start are the SQ 1-3.
The Violin Sonates and the Piano Trio.
He has written many small scaled Chamber music, very attractive, but the above mentioned works are in my opinion essential.


Thanks  :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on September 01, 2007, 04:35:13 AM
Jarvi's recording of Honegger 5 on Chandos is remarkable.  The dreary grinding chords of the first movement have just the right feel of strain without harshness, which facilitates the transition the more playfully ironic second movement.  The other version I've recently listened to, the Plasson, fails miserably in my view because the first movement is overdriven, making the second movement seem like a pathetic twittering in the distance.


I agree about the Jarvi No 5. I also like the Markevitch version on DGG Originals.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 06, 2008, 11:19:05 PM
I strongly recommend the following inexpensive CD of "Honegger conducts Honegger"  The recordings are from 1929-1943 but Dutton has done wonders with them.  The "Prelude to The Tempest" is the stormiest performance on disc and the performance of Pastoral D'ete is most eloquent. I hope that Dutton do a transfer of Honegger's own recording of the "Liturgique Symphony", which has a warmth, power and eloquence unlike any other recording on disc. This composer should be much better known.  He is one of the giants of the 20th Century.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Honegger-conducts-Arthur/dp/B000ECWY8U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1207555828&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 07, 2008, 12:34:48 AM
I treasure the Karajan recording with symphonies 2 & 3 too. Great works, both of them. (And that 'bird ending' is indeed magical.)

But I have still much Honegger to discover.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Harry on April 07, 2008, 12:39:39 AM
I treasure the Karajan recording with symphonies 2 & 3 too. Great works, both of them. (And that 'bird ending' is indeed magical.)

But I have still much Honegger to discover.

And there is a lot to be discovered, Johan! :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: gomro on April 07, 2008, 03:35:08 AM
Not much on Honegger so far. He is one of my favourites composers. Last night I heard, on the car radio, what sounded like a great performance of the "Liturgique" Symphony from the Proms in London. Actually I only heard the last movement but the performance (by Maris Jansons and the Bavarian RSO) was wonderful, taken very slowly. The bird-song type epilogue is one of the most moving things I know in classical music.

I like all the symphonies, especially the bleak No 5 as well as the oratorio "Joan of Arc" and also some of the film music on Marco Polo; "L'Idee" and "Les Miserables" in particular. "Pastorale d'ete" is another beautiful, inspiriting score.
The primary theme of Eric Ewazen's Ballade (which seems to exist in a thousand orchestrations; I haven't found one for rubber band and motorcycle engine yet, but I fear it's out there) reminded me so much of Pastorale d'ete that I wrote Ewazen about the similarity, being very careful to say I was not accusing him of plagiarism. Turned out he had never heard the Honegger. That's amazing to me; Honegger was one of my first discoveries in classical music (Pacific 231, on a disc with Varese's Ameriques and Milhaud's L'homme et son desir) and, though he was not a innovator, he was an outstanding composer and his music stands the test of time.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on April 07, 2008, 09:32:38 AM
And there is a lot to be discovered, Johan! :)

Indeed, there's a lot of music to be discovered : his catalogue counts more than 200 scores, ranging from  large scale oratorios and operetta to the symphony and  simple "chansons" .

I have Harry Halbreich's 1992 ( Fayard/Sacem ) excellent biography ( French only, I fear). As can be expected, success and failure were Honegger's due.
Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher and Le roi David were (and still are) hugely popular, he wrote many scores for plays and films , experimented with the "bouteillophone" ( tuned bottles ( filled with water)as used in "Le dit des jeux du monde", ondes Martenot, the Dynaphone ( another obsolete electronic instrument),the score is lost..), wrote beautiful chambermusic,ballets and some very interesting pianopieces.

I can recommend :

The early (1922) Cantique de Paques (for women's chorus & orch.) A very short ( ca 6 mins) fragment from " Mystère de Pâques" ,that never got realised. It is lovely however, influenced by Debussy, but one recognises Honegger's own style clearly ( the gorgeous Alleluia's from le Roi David!!).

Phaedre - suite d'orchestre ( with 8 alto voices). Once available on an Olympia disc ( Rozhdestvensky)
. Very mysterious and dark music . The fragments are quite long and form a satisfying whole .

Judith - a biblical oratorio. Shorter than Le roi David and Jeanne d'Arc. It derives from a "serious" opera with the same name. Quite  "cinematic" ( with a reciter telling the story in short,evocative scenes) and thrilling. Two good recordings : Abravanel/Utah (1964 -) with Madeleine Milhaud as reciter - some "strange "French from the Utah chorus...), Michel Corboz/Gulbenkian on Cascavelle.

Antigone( 1924-1927 - text by Jean cocteau) : a real opera,lasting 45 mins. and possibly, with Horace victorieux, Honnegger's most expressionistic work. (It was available in a live 1960 version on the BOURG label ( Geneviève Serres, Janine Collard, Jean Giraudeau etc. The French National Orch/Maurice Le Roux)
We're very far removed from the gentle Pastorale d'été! Antigone is atonal for most of the time and quite violent. ( Think of Strauss' Electra, and, possibly, Schoenberg's Erwartung - Halbreich is not sure if Honegger knew that work).
It is a difficult work and asks for real concentration. The performance I mentioned is not perfect, but still a wonderful reminder of great style and perfect French prosody!

The Timpani label has issued all the chamberworks and some rarities (always interesting, often a bit "weird" and fragmentary)

Le dit des jeux du monde
Amphion - a melodrama for Ida Rubinstein ( of Bolero and Jeanne d'Arc fame),coupled with an orchestral suite from l'Impératrice aux rochers
Sémiramis - a ballet-pantomime ( another work for Rubinstein!) with soprano solo, 2 ondes Martenots and chorus).,coupled with several "inédits" : Fantasio, suite from La tempête, Blues from roses de métal etc.

The oratorio "Cris du monde" can be found on a Praga CD ( OOP,I suppose)( Serge Baudo with Czech forces). It is a pessimistic work that reflects both the uncertain times of its composition ( 1929!) and Honegger's own existential fears. The performance is only OK - sung in Czech, and clearly showing its age.

Michel Corboz conducts also a good performance of Cantate de Noël and La danse des morts on Erato/Cascavelle/Musiifrance (1990). Idiomatic and stylish and..OOP.

Peter





Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 07, 2008, 09:47:02 AM
Peter, I'll use your post for easy reference in future. Excellent work!

Johan
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on April 07, 2008, 10:34:38 AM
Graag gedaan! Johan. I love Honegger's music and have been collecting quite a few recordings ( Charles Munch, Ansermet, Charles Dutoit).
I find the contrast between the "roaring Twenties Paris/France" and the seriousness of "protestant Switzerland" very interesting as reflected in Honegger's life and work .

It would be good to have (new) versions of "Cris du monde" , Judith (as opera), Antigone and the ballet "Le cantique des cantiques" written in 1936-37 for Serge Lifar. ( soloists, chorus & orchestra).

(http://www.barbaraleibowitsgraphics.com/sergelifar.jpg)

Serge Lifar
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Drasko on April 07, 2008, 10:52:30 AM

The oratorio "Cris du monde" can be found on a Praga CD ( OOP,I suppose)( Serge Baudo with Czech forces). It is a pessimistic work that reflects both the uncertain times of its composition ( 1929!) and Honegger's own existential fears. The performance is only OK - sung in Czech, and clearly showing its age.

There should be another recording of Cris du monde, under Georges Tzipine on EMI Les Rarissimes de Honegger, but I believe it shows even more age.

Unfortunately oratorios (Honegger or otherwise) aren't the genre that works for me much. But that opera Antigona sounds positively mouthwatering. Any info on availability?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kullervo on April 07, 2008, 11:39:51 AM
But that opera Antigona sounds positively mouthwatering. Any info on availability?

Seconded, I'd love to hear it.

Has anyone heard his operetta, Les Aventures du Roi Pausole? I just noticed it is available on Amazon.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on April 07, 2008, 11:45:24 AM
Another composer mostly neglected by what used to be the majors (but are now more or less the minors), except for a few of the symphonies....

Need to buy some of those Timpanis.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: not edward on April 07, 2008, 11:47:38 AM
There should be another recording of Cris du monde, under Georges Tzipine on EMI Les Rarissimes de Honegger, but I believe it shows even more age.
Yes, it's in somewhat murky mono, and it's not a work I've ever come to love. But at least it's reasonably available (plus it comes with the incredibly rare Nicolas de Flue and the glorious Cantate de Noel).
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on April 07, 2008, 01:34:17 PM
There should be another recording of Cris du monde, under Georges Tzipine on EMI Les Rarissimes de Honegger, but I believe it shows even more age.

Unfortunately oratorios (Honegger or otherwise) aren't the genre that works for me much. But that opera Antigona sounds positively mouthwatering. Any info on availability?

Hi Drasko, do check "La chaumière à musique" in Paris. It's a 2nd hand shop- plenty of Honegger recordings ( but not Antigone...for the moment)
http://www.chaumiereonline.com

Peter
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Drasko on April 07, 2008, 02:09:17 PM
Hi Drasko, do check "La chaumière à musique" in Paris. It's a 2nd hand shop- plenty of Honegger recordings ( but not Antigone...for the moment)
http://www.chaumiereonline.com

Peter

Thanks, I'll check them from time to time, hopefully a copy will surface. Though french shipping rates tend to be pretty annoying.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 07, 2008, 03:09:32 PM
Can I put in a word for some of Honegger's rarer shorter orchestral pieces.

I am thinking of the early powerful Symphonic Poem "Le chant de Nigomon", the Prelude, Fugue and Postlude and the late Monopartita-which dates from around the same time as the 5th symphony. All three of these pieces used to be available on an Erato double CD with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo(Marius Constant) coupled with Dutoit's version of 'Le Roi David'. 'Horace Victorieux' is a wild and noisy piece but worth hearing too.

There is also the delightful Prelude, Arioso and Fughette on the name of Bach for strings(Chandos-Vasary) and the Suite Archaique(First Edition Records-Robert Whitney) and the Concerto da camera for flute, english horn and strings.

As has been noted Honegger did write a very great deal of ballet music and incidental music for films, little of which is heard today.

I have 'La danses des morts" in a version on the Calliope label with the Orchestre de Picardie(Edmon Colomer) coupled with Milhaud's "L'homme et son desir"
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 07, 2008, 03:45:09 PM
There were three interesting Marco Polo CDS of Honegger's film scores.  Les Miserables and L'Idee stood out as fine scores.  Worth seeking out.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Earthlight on April 07, 2008, 04:32:51 PM
(Pacific 231, on a disc with Varese's Ameriques and Milhaud's L'homme et son desir)

Yeah, on Vanguard, right? Was that Abravanel and the Utah Symphony? Varèse got a bit of cult play at school because Frank Zappa gave him a shout-out in some liner notes. I guess that not many people who bought that record because of Zappa paid much attention to Milhaud or Honegger, but I always liked those two works more.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kullervo on April 07, 2008, 04:57:36 PM
Has anyone heard his operetta, Les Aventures du Roi Pausole? I just noticed it is available on Amazon.

Shall I take silence to mean "no"?  :-\
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on April 07, 2008, 09:44:18 PM
I haven't even heard of  it!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 07, 2008, 11:08:28 PM
Honegger's book "I am a Composer" is also a good read.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: gomro on April 08, 2008, 02:25:43 AM
Yeah, on Vanguard, right? Was that Abravanel and the Utah Symphony? Varèse got a bit of cult play at school because Frank Zappa gave him a shout-out in some liner notes. I guess that not many people who bought that record because of Zappa paid much attention to Milhaud or Honegger, but I always liked those two works more.

That's the one. I got it from the local library because I was on a Milhaud kick; it remains one of the best contemporary discs I ever ran across. Best Pacific 231 I ever heard was conducted by Ansermet, on a London disc from the 1960s. Also had Ravel (La Valse and Bolero, natch) and Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice.

BTW, Naxos has released a disc of music by a composer named Gregory Hutter that might interest anyone that likes "train music"; Hutter's piece Electric Traction sounds like Pacific 231 by way of Michael Nyman. Interesting stuff, though Honegger was there first and better. 
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Daverz on April 08, 2008, 05:18:29 AM
I'll put in a vote for Honegger's Symphony No. 1.   This work is in his earlier "Les Six" style, and should delight anyone who likes that era in French music.  I don't know why it isn't recorded more often.  I have a recording by Rozhdestvensky on Olympia/Melodiya.

Also the Cello Concerto is a lovely work.  There's a good recording by Rostropovich on Erato.

And the Piano Concertino.  This one reminds me of Ravel's Left Hand Concerto.

Rugby is great.  The Bernstein recording is fantastic.

As for the choral/vocal works, I did not like Le Roi David, so I haven't explored further.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 08, 2008, 12:36:57 PM
You could try Joan of Arc or the late Christmas Cantata, both very moving choral works, superior I think to King David.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Hector on April 09, 2008, 02:57:28 AM
You could try Joan of Arc or the late Christmas Cantata, both very moving choral works, superior I think to King David.

The Cantate de Noel is brilliant. Such a refreshing change from the usual Xmas musak!

The dark opening leading into the light is a particularly pleasing feature.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 09, 2008, 03:31:25 AM
The Cantate de Noel is brilliant. Such a refreshing change from the usual Xmas musak!

The dark opening leading into the light is a particularly pleasing feature.

Yes, I agree. Honegger was very ill in hospital when he wrote it. I think that it was his last work, which makes it all the more moving. Miaskovsky's beautiful, valedictory 27th Symphony was written in similar circumstances.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on April 09, 2008, 08:52:20 AM
I can imagine that the particular aesthetics of French (Belgian,Dutch...) oratorios ( ca 1920-1950) isn't everybody's cup of tea. The use of a narrator, the use of biblical/religious themes or historical feats, a tendency towards the grandiose...can make these works pompous or bothersom. Honegger's Roi David and Jeanne au bûcher are still popular - as concert works, often semi-staged.

(http://www.musicologie.org/Biographies/h/honegger_14.jpg)

The first  performances of Le roi David were semi- professional and looked more like a cheap Cecil B.De Mille spoof...( I must have some photo's somewhere). The 1903 Théâtre du Jorat ( Mézières,near Lausanne) was a fairly simple,wooden construction - locals gave it the name "little Bayreuth".Today it is a modern theatre with awide range of productions.

From the Hong Kong Bach choir : http://www.bachchoir.org.hk

Honegger was, like his German near-contemporary Paul Hindemith, a thoroughgoing professional, and Morax's deadline held no great fears for him. He completed the music in little more than two months and, a conservatory-trained conductor, led the initial run of performances himself. Among the compositional challenges he had to confront was the limitation presented by the available forces: the local area possessed a few capable wind players and pianists, but no violinists of real ability, yet the choir – composed of enthusiastic local amateur singers – numbered about a hundred. The orchestra would only comprise seventeen musicians, with a single double-bass to represent the strings. Honegger consulted Stravinsky, who replied, “It's very simple… Go ahead as if you had chosen this ensemble, and write for a hundred singers and seventeen instrumentalists.” Honegger always regarded this advice (to treat given conditions not as something imposed but as an inner necessity) as one of the most important composition lessons he ever received.

Le Roi David , with its hints of jazz as well as Bach and with earthy revelry as well as solemn pageantry, was an immediate hit in its first stage production. However, designed for a specific, uncommon setting, its potential for an extended life might have seemed limited. Two years later Honegger re-structured it as an oratorio, with full orchestra and with narration instead of staged action.

Oratorio, of course, was not a new idea in 1923, but its home was Anglo-German and not French. The model had been created by George Frideric Handel in the mid-eighteenth century out of necessity, when his Italian operas lost popularity to the new genre of vernacular ballad opera. While the typical opera scenarios drawn from Classical literature were favored by the aristocracy, which patronized opera and was familiar with the characters and situations, Bible stories have always been loved by the people; for many, these stories were their closest approach to literature, the Bible often being the only book in the home. While Handel and his successors such as Mendelssohn didn't draw on the traditions and motifs of the Passion Play, the stories themselves made their works approachable despite the often sophisticated music. 


Peter
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on April 09, 2008, 09:35:21 AM
Here's an early photograph of "Le roi David"

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 09, 2008, 09:36:20 AM
Very interesting, Peter! Thanks! All this is whetting my appetite...
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on April 09, 2008, 09:48:07 AM
(http://www.abeillemusique.com/images/references/8553649.jpg)

I think this is the second only original version of Le roi David . ( small orchestra). Michel Corboz recorded it also for Erato.

A very good recording of the full orchestra version can be found on Supraphon ,Serge Baudo conducting.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on May 17, 2008, 07:40:15 AM
I'm just listening to Munch/BSO in Honeggers symphony nr 5 (1952).

Not my favorite Honegger symphony, but this is probably the best recording of a Honegger symphony I've heard!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on May 17, 2008, 09:50:32 PM
I'm just listening to Munch/BSO in Honeggers symphony nr 5 (1952).

Not my favorite Honegger symphony, but this is probably the best recording of a Honegger symphony I've heard!


It's the classic recording. Bado on Supraphon, Jarvi on Chandos and Markevitch on DGG are also outstanding in this score. I rate  Symphony No 5 highly, although I think that No 3 "Liturgique" and Joan of Arc are his greatest scores. I also really like the film score to L'Idee.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2008, 12:49:22 AM
I was sure that we had a Honegger thread, but evidently not (maybe it was on the old forum). Anyway, I wanted to draw attention to an interesting new Naxos release (from Marco Polo) of Honegger's film music. I mentioned this on the film music thread but thought it worth a mention on the, non-existent, Honegger thread. So, maybe this would be an opportunity to start a discussion about this rather unfashionable (but great in my view) composer. My favourite works are the Liturgique Symphony (one of the great 20th Century symphonies I think), which seems, in spirit, close to Vaughan Williams's 6th Symphony, although the beautiful bird-song Epilogue to Honegger's work is more consolatory than is the case with the Vaughan Williams work.

Other favourites are symphonies 2,4 and 5, the Oratorio Jean d'Arc, the late Christmas Cantata and the beautiful Pastorale d'ete.

On the new release, L'Idee is a very haunting, animated film score.

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on October 11, 2008, 01:51:19 AM
My favourite works are the Liturgique Symphony (one of the great 20th Century symphonies I think), which seems, in spirit, close to Vaughan Williams's 6th Symphony, although the beautiful bird-song Epilogue to Honegger's work is more consolatory than is the case with the Vaughan Williams work.

I totally agree in your assesment of this symphony, and your likening of this to the V-W 6th is very perceptive even if I'd never thought of it before.

I have noticed that the Christmas Cantata, which I've never heard, is available on a brand new Hyperion release. I will have to buy that, as well as the 4CD Chamber Music set on Timpani, currenly discounted on mdt. It has been on my wish list far too long. I have a Supraphon LP of the 2nd string quartet which I remember liking a lot, but since my LP player is disconnected I haven't heard it for years.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2008, 04:11:36 AM
I totally agree in your assesment of this symphony, and your likening of this to the V-W 6th is very perceptive even if I'd never thought of it before.

I have noticed that the Christmas Cantata, which I've never heard, is available on a brand new Hyperion release. I will have to buy that, as well as the 4CD Chamber Music set on Timpani, currenly discounted on mdt. It has been on my wish list far too long. I have a Supraphon LP of the 2nd string quartet which I remember liking a lot, but since my LP player is disconnected I haven't heard it for years.

Thank you. I need to investigate the chamber music and will also look out for the new Hyperion disc. 'L'Idee' on the new Naxos CD is well worth exploring. I have a great old recording of Honegger conducting the Liturgique 'Honegger conducts Honegger' on the Music and Arts label. It is a scratchy old recording but this 1949 version won a 'Grand Prix du Disque' and, much as I admire recordings by Jansons and Karajan, this version with Honegger speaking the superscriptions between the movements is, in many respects, the most deeply felt of all. Some of the couplings on the CD (Pastorale d'ete, The Tempest Prelude etc) are available on a super-budget Dutton CD, but sadly not the symphony.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on October 11, 2008, 04:20:45 AM
Here is your earlier Honegger thread, Jeffrey...

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3180.0.html
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 11, 2008, 07:40:36 AM
Here is your earlier Honegger thread, Jeffrey...

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3180.0.html

Well, perhaps one of our mods can combine these two threads - just reviewed the older one which has plenty of good information, already on this composer!

A set mentioned in the previous thread and which I own is the 2-CD one on Apex - just $7 on Amazon; but the other day, the single disc below (right) on BIS arrived in my mailbox! Cello Concerto & other Cello Chamber Works w/ Christian Poltera on cello, other soloists, and the Malmo SO - received a great review in the May-June issue of Fanfare & superb comments on ClassicsToday (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=98347&name_role1=2&bcorder=2&name_id=5534&name_role=1) (reprinted on the ArkivMusic site); I've listened to this recording just once in the basement while excercising, so need to give the disc a better hearing in the den & w/ my fuller attention!  :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/316J8qW7kEL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51LRGf04BAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2008, 07:51:22 AM
Here is your earlier Honegger thread, Jeffrey...

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3180.0.html

Oops...thanks Johan. I was sure that there was one but it didn't appear when I did a search under his name. Hohum, never mind.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kullervo on October 11, 2008, 08:20:26 AM
I was sure that we had a Honegger thread, but evidently not (maybe it was on the old forum). Anyway, I wanted to draw attention to an interesting new Naxos release (from Marco Polo) of Honegger's film music. I mentioned this on the film music thread but thought it worth a mention on the, non-existent, Honegger thread. So, maybe this would be an opportunity to start a discussion about this rather unfashionable (but great in my view) composer. My favourite works are the Liturgique Symphony (one of the great 20th Century symphonies I think), which seems, in spirit, close to Vaughan Williams's 6th Symphony, although the beautiful bird-song Epilogue to Honegger's work is more consolatory than is the case with the Vaughan Williams work.

Other favourites are symphonies 2,4 and 5, the Oratorio Jean d'Arc, the late Christmas Cantata and the beautiful Pastorale d'ete.

On the new release, L'Idee is a very haunting, animated film score.



Ah! I had just downloaded this on a p2p network because it was out of print, now I can buy the real thing. :D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on October 11, 2008, 08:34:04 AM
Oops...thanks Johan. I was sure that there was one but it didn't appear when I did a search under his name. Hohum, never mind.

I just used Lethe's invaluable  Composer Index (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,8566.0.html)...



Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2008, 08:43:31 AM
I just used Lethe's invaluable  Composer Index (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,8566.0.html)...





That would be far too straightforward for me Johan. I'd much rather adopt a more circuitous search route...and then miss the thread completely  ;D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on October 11, 2008, 09:12:01 AM
That would be far too straightforward for me Johan. I'd much rather adopt a more circuitous search route...and then miss the thread completely.

;D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2008, 11:30:02 PM
I have been listening to my old Marco Polo CD with Honegger's film music on. As well as containing L'Idee it has a lovely three minute piece 'Le Grand Barrage' written in 1942. Some mystery surrounds the work, which may have been written for a documentary about a huge mountain reservoir. What matters, of course, is the music. The piece starts stormily, rather in the spirit of Honegger's 'Prelude to the Tempest' but there then emerges a beautiful Respighi like theme. Unfortunately this work is not featured on the new Naxos CD, which appears to be an edited highlights of the three Marco Polo discs of Honegger's film music; a pity that it is not included.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Dundonnell on October 16, 2008, 06:34:10 AM
I have been listening to my old Marco Polo CD with Honegger's film music on. As well as containing L'Idee it has a lovely three minute piece 'Le Grand Barrage' written in 1942. Some mystery surrounds the work, which may have been written for a documentary about a huge mountain reservoir. What matters, of course, is the music. The piece starts stormily, rather in the spirit of Honegger's 'Prelude to the Tempest' but there then emerges a beautiful Respighi like theme. Unfortunately this work is not featured on the new Naxos CD, which appears to be an edited highlights of the three Marco Polo discs of Honegger's film music; a pity that it is not included.

I didn't realise that the new Naxos CD was a reissue, Jeffrey. Haven't listened to it yet(been away on holiday for the last week) but am looking forward to it :) There must be a huge amount of music yet to be unearthed from all the films to which Honegger supplied incidental music?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 16, 2008, 09:10:51 AM
I didn't realise that the new Naxos CD was a reissue, Jeffrey. Haven't listened to it yet(been away on holiday for the last week) but am looking forward to it :) There must be a huge amount of music yet to be unearthed from all the films to which Honegger supplied incidental music?

Hi Colin,

Marco Polo issued three CDs of Honegger's film music. I think that he wrote the music for c 40 films and was a film fanatic himself. L'Idee and Le Grand Barrage are well worth investigation.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Kuhlau on December 26, 2008, 04:39:18 PM
Been intending to explore more of Honegger's music for some time, so I've used some of the money I received for Christmas to get this:

(http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3180.0;attach=3830;image)

If the Third Symphony in this set is even half as good as the version on Naxos, I'll be extremely pleased. :)

FK
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on December 27, 2008, 02:38:51 AM
This was my only Christmas present CD this year. Very pleased with it:

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 02:39:56 PM
Perhaps you are familiar with a rare bio-pic soundtrack for Hollywood that Honegger wrote: Le Roi Rogers! Oy!!!


EDIT: Oy, indeed!! With stuff like this littering around 'cyberspace', how is it that we are all not locked away for indecencies? :-[ Are we allowed to delete Posts?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scarpia on May 29, 2009, 02:54:37 PM
Been intending to explore more of Honegger's music for some time, so I've used some of the money I received for Christmas to get this:

(http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3180.0;attach=3830;image)

If the Third Symphony in this set is even half as good as the version on Naxos, I'll be extremely pleased. :)

FK

I'm anticipating big disappointment.  I've been trying to sell my copy of that set for ages.  As long as this set is available there is no need for any other Honegger symphony recordings.

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/1115662.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on May 29, 2009, 03:04:32 PM
I'm anticipating big disappointment.  I've been trying to sell my copy of that set for ages.  As long as this set is available there is no need for any other Honegger symphony recordings.

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/1115662.jpg)


Serge Baudo and the Czechs are hard to beat in Honegger!

Baudo has one other recording that is absolutely classic: Jessye Norman and Nicolai Gedda singing in Alceste by Gluck!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 09:51:42 PM
Karajan/DG 2-3

Munch/Erato No.4

Markevitch/DG No.5

Munch again? in No.1???

The Piano Concerto may be my single fav p.c.... it's ten minutes haunt me. And the Cello Concerto is so wonderfully langorous.

But the 3rd concerto's (for flute/cor anglais) slow mvmt. may be my most fav slow mvmt. EVER. Keep in mind that Honegger taught Pettersson some, and this mvmt. MAY BE a sonic link!!!

Also, the Erato Ultima 2cd features Le Roi David and a set of pieces by Dutoit/Constant. No one has yet mentioned, I think, Honegger's last work, Monopartita, and the Mouvement Sym. No.3, two standouts for me, very much of the world of Sym. 5. The Westminster cds mvmt. sym No.3 is much better though.

For me, the joy of Honegger is in the orchestral "pieces", the Chant du Joie (also on Westminster, and Pan), a perfect Honegger piece, and the two above pieces. Also, on a Calliope disc w/Danse du Mort is the Nocturne, very attractive, though roughly played. On an oehm disc w/Bach are the Hymn and Dixtour. I believe there's an unrecorded "blues nocturnish" and maybe one or two other pieces, otherwise I think everything else's been recorded.

Two pieces I'm still waiting on are the late pieces "suite for Angelique?" and "suite Ancienne?", though undesireable disc mates have kept me from them.

Please somebody record "Honegger Rarities". C'mon.

The library has all the Timpani chamber discs but the SQs 1-3. I still haven't heard them. I'd like to get the Erato Quartet/Aura disc, but Honegger fetches a premium.

However, the violin/cello Duo is standard rep, great stuff. Along with Ravel, Martinu, and Schullhoff...I have, I think, the best duo recital with the Turovskys on Chandos (Rivier instead Schullhoff, probably could've fit it).

The Cello Sonata is one of my favs, short, turgid and darkly hued. I enjoy it much better than the Martinu 3. And the Sonatina for cello or clarinet is nice and brief. They both perfectly compliment the Debussy.

Honegger holds the distinction of being the only composer (besides Xenakis) whom I'll tolerate vocal works from...even if I don't like them! I even want to get his piano music (Koch). Honegger was the first composer I disliked that I eventually wanted everything by!

Honegger/Hartmann/Pettersson- see?, you've gotta have double letters!

B"ee"thoven?...huh?....huh??? ;)

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on May 31, 2009, 01:28:23 PM
For me, the joy of Honegger is in the orchestral "pieces", the Chant du Joie (also on Westminster, and Pan), a perfect Honegger piece . . . .

I love posts like this, though my wallet shies away from them.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: not edward on May 31, 2009, 01:35:21 PM
Karajan/DG 2-3

Much/Erato No.4

Markevitch/DG No.5

Munch again? in No.1???
That's pretty much my favourites for most of the symphonies. I might prefer Jansons to Karajan in 2, though, while Baudo is consistently outstanding too (a very easy recommendation for a complete set).

Quote
Also, the Erato Ultima 2cd features Le Roi David and a set of pieces by Dutoit/Constant. No one has yet mentioned, I think, Honegger's last work, Monopartita, and the Mouvement Sym. No.3, two standouts for me, very much of the world of Sym. 5. The Westminster cds mvmt. sym No.3 is much better though.

For me, the joy of Honegger is in the orchestral "pieces", the Chant du Joie (also on Westminster, and Pan), a perfect Honegger piece, and the two above pieces.

I find the Erato discs somewhat dissatisfying: Dutoit's Honegger seems undercharacterized to me. On the other hand, that Westminster disc is one of the glories of the Honegger catalogue--great performances all round in very good mono sound. (And an outstanding Petrushka is my idea of the perfect "filler.")
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on May 31, 2009, 01:36:38 PM
Baudo did a complete Honegger cycle, Edward? That would be a temptation.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: not edward on May 31, 2009, 01:38:22 PM
Baudo did a complete Honegger cycle, Edward? That would be a temptation.
Consider yourself tempted. ;)

And it's even still in print, unlike the Scherchen collection on Westminster.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 02:31:27 AM
(My wallet has yelped.)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 03:14:38 AM
Honegger's book "I am a Composer" is also a good read.

Say more, Jeffrey?  When did he write it? &c.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on June 01, 2009, 10:55:37 PM
Anyone got 25 words or less on SQs 2-3?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on June 02, 2009, 12:07:33 AM
Anyone got 25 words or less on SQs 2-3?
They're better (or at least; better liked by me) than no 1.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on June 02, 2009, 04:39:44 AM
Say more, Jeffrey?  When did he write it? &c.

Karl will get back to you on that.

Jeffrey
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: not edward on June 02, 2009, 05:57:46 AM
They're better (or at least; better liked by me) than no 1.
Seconded. I think they're obvious ancestors to the 2nd symphony, with similar harmonic, melodic and rhythmic features.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on November 14, 2009, 01:27:47 AM
First off, excuse me, but it hasn't been 120 days since this thread was up, right? I thought,...ah,...oh, well, BUTtt!!!...

FINALLY!!

After many years, and even many more, and also in consideration of the scarcity of these pieces, I finally got the Honegger SQs 1-3/Erato Qrt. (Ermitage). Well, I don't know how many of you out there are familiar with them, but, I'm going to give all three an,... are ya ready?,...ah?,...YES!!!,...UNQUALIFIED MASTERPIECES in all capitals, fer sher!



The library has 2, maybe three of Honegger Complete Chamber Music on Timpani, but never have I heard the SQs. And, since Honegger became my, oh how do you say it?.... nizzle? hearing these has always been there, though Amazon has been dry of the Timpani SQs (Ludwig), and the Erato, in two different guises (Ermitage with the pic of the group on the cover, and Aura, with abstract painting, and I say, must they not be the same performance???), the Erato has been very expensive (currenty @$40). I thought I paid a hefty @22, but, I will tell you

GOD, in Jesus' name,... I will say yay, prompted me to bid $22 and I tell you I wouldn't have gotten it for less at the last second, so, Praise the Lord, haha! (where's the angel smilee??? :o) I know it's a total deal, but I was not expecting to pay the full, so when I "heard" the number, I gladly submitted. I DO NOT RECOMMEND tempting the Lord, however,... I'm just sayin'. :) Don't Diner me!



So, therefore, with greatest anticipation did I receive yon mail the other day. Ohhh, the cover, ahhh, the spine. We go for No.2 first. and

KA-POWWW!!!... ...

I am hearing for the first time the very closest thing to Szymanowski's first mvmts. of both of his SQs, that ecstatic, longing, plus,... and that's not all folks, but the best in Janacek, Bartok, Hindemith, Prokofiev, and the like (Pijper, especially), the very cream of early-mid 20th century SQ literature, it's all there in there in the first two mvmts. of this three mvmt. work. For me, the finale was a wee bit of a let down after the incredible first two mvmts., seeming not as focused, as if from another SQ, but, I'm warming to Honegger's choice,... right! No, this SQ shot right up into an already bulging core of masterpieces that I thought had seen it's last new member (though, also this year, Novak No.3 ). For those of you who haven't heard, I'll just let you drool, but the first two mvmts. are, I'll say it, transcendental Honegger.

I know I can ramble on, but trust me, I could go on about this music! No.3, to my surprise, was quite different. Though only written a year after No. 2 (1937),...whoop!, there's that year again!!!,... anyhow, all of the melodic appeal of No.2 is gone, and here we have a quasi Hindemithian sounding concentration (Hindemith in uber serious mode), but also Pijper really comes to mind here in the melodic/cellular-type curve appeal. It is a working out of motives SQ, as opposed to No.2's more overt lyricism. On the surface I didn't like No.3 immediately as much as No.2, but it's homogeny and concentration are more intellectually appealling.  No.3 is probably Honegger's greatest chamber work,... (thinking, thinking)... but I'd perhaps like to say the combination of the two, because they make such an excellently contrasted pair.

So, after this most delightful discovery, I made to No.1, written in 1917, in another good cluster vintage when Milhaud, Koechlin, Martinu, and such like were writing their first essays. The teen years up to 1919 are one of my favorite eras, and let me say, that I was immediately struck by Honegger's first big, great piece. I'd looove to go into some detail about the time, but, anyhow, the SQ No.1 starts of in full turmoil of motif, a Tempest, if one may, and really is put together well. The notes remind that this is the ONLY? (SQ?, any?) French music which is obviously influenced by Reger, and the such like. I'm not that familiar with the Magnard, but, I do trust that Magnard and Honegger, though both more Germanic leaning, don't sound that much alike.

After the turbulent first mvmt., the 15min slow mvmt. really is a wonder,... yea, 15mins!,... even Honegger thought hist first SQ was long (he didn't say which part, heehee),...but, no, as far as Honegger slow mvmts. go, it is certainly the masterpiece of his youth,... the seeking searching serious man, the poor man's Beethoven, haha. I do believe I just gave away quite the jewel of the crown here, but in the panoply of composers who wrote one SQ early, and then returned later, mature, and there are tons before 1919, this Honegger work must be considered very very highly, I think. I really don't want to compare to early Myaskovsky, eh, mmm, eh, but there is a certain sameness of serious purpose, oh those serious boys!

In the finale we can hear the seeds of future Honegger allegros. I said, Oy!, there you are! I can't place it, but it's there, haha! This might be my fav finale of the three, though, since No.3 is so different, they can co-chair.



As to the production, all I can say is that the Erato play with undoubted passion, which is quite on display everywhere, from the Edgar Allan Poe of No.1, to the soaring surreality of No.2, to the zip-it/shut-up, rigorous concentration of No.3. I can't imagine how the Ludwig on Timpani could be much better, though it would be quite the match-up, no? Mmmm...yes! The 1992 recording cushions Honegger's sometimes harsh sonorities for an excellent listening experience, immediate and full, yet just enough away to congeal in warmth.



I've gotta tell ya, I've listened to this cd twice whilst writing. These mvmts. go by pretty fast, wow! Well, for any Honeggerian, this is a great moment, and I just hope someone gets the fire. Like I said, if you've wondered about them, they are truly in the same class as your favs. I was very very surprised; I was not expecting Honegger to show this particular type of depth in these pieces, but he certainly appears to have lavished some attention on them. All I can say is, they're perfect. Honestly, with my personal history with Honegger, this is quite a day. I proclaim it National Honegger Appreciation Day, buh-buh!!

I feel a Honegger Love Fest coming on! :P :-* :P :-* :P :-* :P :-* :P :-* :P :-* :P
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 08, 2010, 11:12:29 AM
I haven't spent much time with Honegger. I just love that last movement of "Symphony No. 2" my God those rhythms!!! That is one thing that really attracted me to his music, but a closer look into the music will reveal a very disturbed man. His music is violent and dark, but it also has a very lyrical side. I'm going to try and listen to more Honegger over the next couple of days.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Drasko on July 08, 2010, 11:50:35 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Honegger-Antigone-Tragedie-Musicale/dp/B000KDSKOA

 :P
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scarpia on July 08, 2010, 11:50:50 AM
First off, excuse me, but it hasn't been 120 days since this thread was up, right? I thought,...ah,...oh, well, BUTtt!!!...

FINALLY!!

After many years, and even many more, and also in consideration of the scarcity of these pieces, I finally got the Honegger SQs 1-3/Erato Qrt. (Ermitage). Well, I don't know how many of you out there are familiar with them, but, I'm going to give all three an,... are ya ready?,...ah?,...YES!!!,...UNQUALIFIED MASTERPIECES in all capitals, fer sher!
I have that release and agree that it is superb.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on August 01, 2010, 12:42:50 AM
My inclination and my effort have always been to write music which would be comprehensible to the great mass of listeners and at the same time sufficiently free of banality to interest genuine music lovers.

So wrote Arthur Honegger, and I think that he achieved his aim. I have just managed to find the CD below. I bought it when first released (1991) but the CD got damaged and it wouldn't play without jumping. I was very pleased to find a second hand copy (reasonably priced for once) on Amazon UK. I think that it is perhaps my favourite Honegger CD, even though it does not feature the Sinfonie Liturgique, which is perhaps Honegger's greatest work. I had not listened to the wartime Second Symphony in a long while and had forgotten how good it is, especially the compassionate slow movement. I love Ansermet's performance of Symphony No 4 'The Delights of Basel' - perhaps the most underrated of Honegger's symphonies. It is a really lovely, charming work, which reminded me once or twice of Martinu's 6th Symphony. If you do not know this work I strongly recommended it. It is a really inspiriting and life-enhancing work. The CD concluded with Honegger's final work the 'Christmas Cantata' written for his friend Paul Sacher, when Honegger was already very ill. It is a dark and sombre work but ends, very movingly, on a note of affirmation and hope as Honegger quotes tunes from christmas carols. This is the best CD I have heard in a long while.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: CaramelJones on August 01, 2010, 03:00:51 AM
Quote
I am hearing for the first time the very closest thing to Szymanowski's first mvmts. of both of his SQs, that ecstatic, longing, plus,... and that's not all folks, but the best in Janacek, Bartok, Hindemith, Prokofiev, and the like (Pijper, especially), the very cream of early-mid 20th century SQ literature, it's all there in there in the first two mvmts. of this three mvmt. work.

You are probably referring in part to Honegger's Parisian influences in his three quartets, which have an eclectic edge - way more interestingly woven than all of Milhaud's stuff. He holds a kind of eclecticism, dissimilar from Martinu's rich imagination, or even Szymanowski's opulently rich textures of soundscapes.   Martinu had an incredibly rich verve in the world of imagination; he transposes this brilliantly in the short cycle of his 7 string quartets: Honegger is more focussed in the impressionistic energy of his 3.    It is fair to say that Martinu often uses a wavering line, undeciphered in a labyrinthine way, to weave the string quartet towards its closing movements: Honegger - has less room for ambiguity. 

Quote
I know I can ramble on, but trust me, I could go on about this music! No.3, to my surprise, was quite different. Though only written a year after No. 2 (1937),...whoop!, there's that year again!!!,... anyhow, all of the melodic appeal of No.2 is gone, and here we have a quasi Hindemithian sounding concentration (Hindemith in uber serious mode), but also Pijper really comes to mind here in the melodic/cellular-type curve appeal. It is a working out of motives SQ, as opposed to No.2's more overt lyricism. On the surface I didn't like No.3 immediately as much as No.2, but it's homogeny and concentration are more intellectually appealling.  No.3 is probably Honegger's greatest chamber work,... (thinking, thinking)... but I'd perhaps like to say the combination of the two, because they make such an excellently contrasted pair.

This is the nature of a string cycle although can we call 3 SQs a string quartet cycle?  The best string cycles, carry a development and innervation drawn from the very life spring of the composer's own being.  Honegger achieves this in SQ3, albeit imperfectly, compared to his Myaskovsky, Bartok, Shostakovich.  His language is eclectic, pushing beyond the conventional Group des Six, although his direction is unique in the Frenh field: Magnard and Franck (not really French of course) are compulsory Franco-Belgian quartets for reading, as much as Debussy/Ravel on the other hand, and a stream of enjoyable post-romantic efforts in between.

Quote
...but in the panoply of composers who wrote one SQ early, and then returned later, mature, and there are tons before 1919, this Honegger work must be considered very very highly, I think. I really don't want to compare to early Myaskovsky, eh, mmm, eh, but there is a certain sameness of serious purpose, oh those serious boys!
Quote

in the case of Myaskovsky (as with the 'S' composers from the Soviet -  Shostakovich, Salmanov, Schnittke and Shebalin)  - the string quartet form was an interior form of expression, of an intense psychological dimension unfettered from politics and state control or censor.   Myaskovsky and Shostakovich persisted to write 13 and 15 string quartets respectively; had Myaskovsky not died early from cancer, it is  likely he would have written more: his complete confidence in the 'interior form' of the string quartet, writing unbridled introspective music is really exemplary.  He isn't the balls out kind of bells and whistles composer.  Myaskovsky majors on the lyrical and pastoral intensity; Honegger's intensity in SQ 3 focusses on a more rhythmic and intellectual plane for me. 
 
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 15, 2010, 05:58:18 PM
BUMP! :D
 
I've been revisiting some of Honegger's music lately. One of my favorite Honegger works is called Monopartita and it's an orchestral work. The only performance I own of this work is a David Zinman recording on Decca that is sadly out-of-print. Has anyone else heard this work? It some beautiful melodies and the harmony is very intriguing as is the orchestration.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 03:31:49 PM
I am not Honegger's greatest fan & therefore perhaps not the fairest judge of his music. The Monopartita is from 1951 and appears to be the last among his symphonic work. Sounds like a rather German-inspired neo-classicsim to me, somewhat reminiscent of Albert Roussel.

Regardless of what it sounds like or what the style is reminiscent of, it's still a fine work in my opinion.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2010, 03:41:19 PM
Regardless of what it sounds like or what the style is reminiscent of, it's still a fine work in my opinion.

Right; unclear to me, too, what would be intrinsically objectionable to "German-inspired neo-classicism," or to a piece "somewhat reminiscent of Albert Roussel."
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 03:44:58 PM
Right; unclear to me, too, what would be intrinsically objectionable to "German-inspired neo-classicism," or to a piece "somewhat reminiscent of Albert Roussel."

Exactly, I'm not sure what Toucan's intentions were with those comments, but they fail to convey any kind of logic.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 05:43:25 PM
I fail to see why my lack of enthusiasm for this minor composer should have provoked a flaming; but I am beginning to see why Mirror Image should have gotten himself banned from talkclassical.com: it's his aggressive posting style.

And as far as the so-called composer, Karl Henning, is concerned, well, if he'd reign in his lynch mob mentality, perhaps activity on this site would pick up.

It is not because Honegger's composing style is German-inspired, neo-classical or neo-romantic that it does not enthuse me; it is because it does not enthuse me. Intelligent people sure wouldn't have taken exception to that as intelligent people understand tastes vary as individuals do.

(I am beginning to regret I pushed the Honegger Cello Concerto; perhaps I should have saved it for a more enlightened crowd)

You said it yourself "you're not the fairest judge of his music," so why throw vague descriptions around about his music if you don't have the listening experience that is required to make a logical judgment?
 
I'm not sure what my banning on another forum has to do with this argument, but quite frankly it's a cheap shot. Also, I think your attack on Karl was unjust. He has done nothing to you. If anything, you should apologize to him.
 
 
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2010, 05:44:33 PM
Quote
(I am beginning to regret I pushed the Honegger Cello Concerto; perhaps I should have saved it for a more enlightened crowd)

Oh! How unworthy we are! LOL
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2010, 05:45:15 PM
Psst: you want rein in, not reign in.  NCFTS.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 06:33:13 PM
My, my, my, there we go again, a failing composer and a banned reject from a competing site, compensating for their incapacity to discuss serious subjects seriously, with adolescent flamings and displays of second-ratedness.

Do you two bozos have informed opinion to share on Honegger?

Obviously not...

And yet the personal attacks continue...
 
I have many opinions regarding Honegger, but I'm just wondering how you can reach the conclusions you have about Honegger's music when you contradict your "serious opinion" with statements like "I'm not the fairest judge of his music"?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2010, 06:44:49 PM
Quote
My, my, my, there we go again, a failing composer and a banned reject from a competing site, compensating for their incapacity to discuss serious subjects seriously, with adolescent flamings and displays of second-ratedness.

Do you two bozos have informed opinion to share on Honegger?

Obviously not...

LOL
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 06:53:28 PM
Mirror Image is neither capable of formulating an opinion of his own than of tolerating the opinion of those who have kindly responded to his query concerning Honegger.  What a jerk...  ::)

You never responded to my question, which is why I continue to ask it. I suppose it takes a jerk to know a jerk.

So allow me, the jerk, to reiterate my question:

How can you reach the conclusions you have about Honegger's music when you contradict your "serious opinion" with statements like "I'm not the fairest judge of his music"?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on October 16, 2010, 07:21:18 PM
BUMP! :D
 
I've been revisiting some of Honegger's music lately. One of my favorite Honegger works is called Monopartita and it's an orchestral work. The only performance I own of this work is a David Zinman recording on Decca that is sadly out-of-print. Has anyone else heard this work? It some beautiful melodies and the harmony is very intriguing as is the orchestration.

The Monopartita, his last piece, relates to the Symphony No.5. The same post-war, shell shocked brass open both pieces.

I'm a Honegger Convert,... I find him uniquely,...mmm,..."tragic". Either way, I find many beautiful moments,... Symphony No.4, and my favorite of all, the slow mvmt. from the late Concerto de Camera. That ranks up there with Finzi and Pettersson for me, in the beautiful epiphany.

The Cello Concerto is languid indeed, and I especially have a weakness for the Concertino for piano and orchestra, a very beautiful Bugs Bunny does Mozart.

I give Honegger extra points for being "oh, such a serious young man" (in that doomed way), and his very brief Late Period. The accusations of him being a bitter pill have melted away for me, and I have grown to love his unique ruggedness,... well, manliness (and here the comparisons with Roussel hold true), coupled with a broken innocence (the bitter bits) that certainly mark the teacher of Pettersson.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 07:27:01 PM
The Monopartita, his last piece, relates to the Symphony No.5. The same post-war, shell shocked brass open both pieces.

I'm a Honegger Convert,... I find him uniquely,...mmm,..."tragic". Either way, I find many beautiful moments,... Symphony No.4, and my favorite of all, the slow mvmt. from the late Concerto de Camera. That ranks up there with Finzi and Pettersson for me, in the beautiful epiphany.

The Cello Concerto is languid indeed, and I especially have a weakness for the Concertino for piano and orchestra, a very beautiful Bugs Bunny does Mozart.

I give Honegger extra points for being "oh, such a serious young man" (in that doomed way), and his very brief Late Period. The accusations of him being a bitter pill have melted away for me, and I have grown to love his unique ruggedness,... well, manliness (and here the comparisons with Roussel hold true), coupled with a broken innocence (the bitter bits) that certainly mark the teacher of Pettersson.

Why do I have to give my opinion of Honegger when snyprr has written such a great post that sums up how I feel?
 
Honegger's music is indeed angry and tragic, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as the last movement from Symphony No. 2 suggests. I think his association with Les Six was a good thing for him at that time. It afforded him more exposure that he, otherwise, might not have received had he embarked on his own. Every member of that group were their own person, but I think their associations with each other were an important part of each of their artistic lives.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 20, 2010, 02:24:41 PM
I just received the Jarvi disc (with the Danish National Radio Symphony) and it's superb! I will be revisiting this recording a lot. I rank it up there with Zinman's and Karajan's recordings.
 
Toucan is crazy for calling Honegger a minor composer. He is far from it. I think he's fantastic and so do plenty of other people.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on October 21, 2010, 01:24:47 AM
I just received the Jarvi disc (with the Danish National Radio Symphony) and it's superb! I will be revisiting this recording a lot. I rank it up there with Zinman's and Karajan's recordings.
 
Toucan is crazy for calling Honegger a minor composer. He is far from it. I think he's fantastic and so do plenty of other people.
I am one, though perhaps I would choose major composer (at least in the top 20- 30 list of the 20th century which in my opinion signifies major) rather than fantastic.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 21, 2010, 07:39:55 PM
I am one, though perhaps I would choose major composer (at least in the top 20- 30 list of the 20th century which in my opinion signifies major) rather than fantastic.

I like Honegger's idiom. I like the way he wrote his music. It isn't my fault that he's not as well-known as say Stravinsky or Prokofiev, but this doesn't make him any less significant than those two. He composed music in a very distinctive style, which I find refreshing.

Actually, I have several classical books (Rough Guide To Classical Music, Gramophone 2009 edition, NPR Listener's Encylopedia of Classical Music, Edward Downes' Guide To Symphonic Music, among others) and all of them acknowledge Honegger as a major 20th Century composer.
 
One listen to his music, you hear an individual with something unique to say. You may not like his music, but to dismiss him as a minor composer would be misinformed and uneducated. I don't like Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart, but I acknowledge them as historically significant composers and I'd be crazy not to.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 22, 2010, 08:24:13 AM
Pleased to see my Honegger thread revived, but sorry to see the acrimonious exchanges - feel that life's too short for that.

The work I have been listening to recently has been Honegger's valedictory 'Christmas Cantata' - I had not realised what a wonderful work it was - the ending is very moving.  I think that it was Honegger's last work - which makes it all the more affecting.

I agree that Jarvi's Chandos CD with symphonies 3 and 5 on (my favourites) is terrific.

I also like the film music for the animated movie 'L'Idee', which is also a magical score. It features on the Naxos CD below, which is a very nice CD.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 27, 2010, 06:48:01 PM
I agree that Jarvi's Chandos CD with symphonies 3 and 5 (my favourites) is terrific.

I have probably already listened to this recording at least 5 times. Jarvi excels in this music. Too bad he didn't recording more Honegger. I would like have heard a full symphony cycle with all of the other orchestral works with the same orchestra (Danish National Radio Symphony). I know, I know, but here's to wishful thinking. :D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 29, 2010, 01:53:47 AM

I have probably already listened to this recording at least 5 times. Jarvi excels in this music. Too bad he didn't recording more Honegger. I would like have heard a full symphony cycle with all of the other orchestral works with the same orchestra (Danish National Radio Symphony). I know, I know, but here's to wishful thinking. :D

Me too! I just happen to be listening to his Chandod CD of Langgaard's symphonies 4-6, which is my favourite Langgaard CD (although I like the premiere recording of the original Symphony No 5 on dacapo). Back to Honeggere I really like Markevitch's old DGG CD of Symphony No 5 - a really gripping performance.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scarpia on October 29, 2010, 07:20:08 AM
Back to Honeggere I really like Markevitch's old DGG CD of Symphony No 5 - a really gripping performance.

I should revisit that.  I remember being unimpressed with the sound quality.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on October 29, 2010, 07:44:14 AM
Me too! I just happen to be listening to his Chandod CD of Langgaard's symphonies 4-6, which is my favourite Langgaard CD (although I like the premiere recording of the original Symphony No 5 on dacapo). Back to Honeggere I really like Markevitch's old DGG CD of Symphony No 5 - a really gripping performance.

That opening Markevitch fanfare IS the sound of a post-war, shellshocked Frenchman surveying the ruins around him,... and proclaiming! ahhh...
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 29, 2010, 12:19:53 PM
I should revisit that.  I remember being unimpressed with the sound quality.

The sound quality is not very good but I am a sucker for these old historical performances - something about the atmosphere and it was a performance, I think, of great integrity.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scarpia on October 29, 2010, 01:07:57 PM
The sound quality is not very good but I am a sucker for these old historical performances - something about the atmosphere and it was a performance, I think, of great integrity.

I do like the sound of the old French orchestras and cherish many of those recordings from the 50s, (Paris Conservatory Orchestra, etc) but the sound on this one (if I recall correctly) went past my threshold.  I need to give it another listen.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 30, 2010, 01:31:17 AM
I do like the sound of the old French orchestras and cherish many of those recordings from the 50s, (Paris Conservatory Orchestra, etc) but the sound on this one (if I recall correctly) went past my threshold.  I need to give it another listen.

Me too  :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 30, 2010, 01:38:27 AM
Listening to the Markevitch no 5 now (DGG Originals) - the recording is a bit boxed-in but it is the real thing I think (and I'm listening on low-fi equipment). Alexander Morin's guide says 'Markevitch's recording of 5 is disciplined and splendidly gloomy [I agree]; the recording is excellent mono [a matter of opinion perhaps - although I don't find the recording a problem in enjoying the music].
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scarpia on January 23, 2011, 09:30:28 AM
Just listened to Honegger's Concertino for piano and orchestra (Thibaudet/Dutoit).  A really delightful, inventive piece, and it is nice to hear Honegger composing music which is bright and witty, rather than reflecting the doom and war and horror.  The recording is not bad, but I get the feeling that the piece would have benefited from a bit more rhythmic vitality (the Ravel Concerto for left hand, included on the same release, suffers even more from this issue, IMO).
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Guido on January 23, 2011, 10:04:32 AM
Symphony No.4, and my favorite of all, the slow mvmt. from the late Concerto de Camera. That ranks up there with Finzi and Pettersson for me, in the beautiful epiphany.

Very intrigued by this comment - could you elaborate?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scarpia on June 19, 2011, 07:49:48 PM
Listened to two unfamiliar works today, the pastorale d'ete, and prelude, aria and fugue on BACH.  The first didn't impress (an impressionistic version of Honegger) the second impressed mightily.  There you have Honegger seeming to channel the spirit of Bach (especially the first movement).  Lopes-Cobos and Lausanne do a fine job.  Also listened to the second symphony from the same ensemble, not the best recording of this work, but a nicely done middle movement.



What the birth of Venus has to do with any of the music on this CD is a mystery to me. 
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on June 19, 2011, 07:54:02 PM
Listened to two unfamiliar works today, the pastorale d'ete, and prelude, aria and fugue on BACH.  The first didn't impress (an impressionistic version of Honegger) the second impressed mightily.  There you have Honegger seeming to channel the spirit of Bach (especially the first movement.  Lopes-Cobos and Lausanne.  Also listened to the second symphony from the same ensemble, somewhat less impressive, but a nicely done middle movement.

These are both very minor works. Honegger's reputation rest almost entirely on his symphonies and the two short orchestral works Pacific 231 and Rugby. I find his works with vocals/chorus like Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher to be almost non-representative of what Honegger was about musically.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scarpia on June 19, 2011, 08:08:13 PM
Just listened to Honegger's Concertino for piano and orchestra (Thibaudet/Dutoit).  A really delightful, inventive piece, and it is nice to hear Honegger composing music which is bright and witty, rather than reflecting the doom and war and horror.  The recording is not bad, but I get the feeling that the piece would have benefited from a bit more rhythmic vitality (the Ravel Concerto for left hand, included on the same release, suffers even more from this issue, IMO).




Seeing my older post I realized that I was planning to put some mention on this thread of my experience with some other concertante works of Honegger that are not well known (but perhaps should be).   There is a nice collection of music with cello from BIS.



The two most interesting works here (from my point of view) are the cello concerto, and sonata for violin and cello.  The first finds Honegger in an uncharacteristical good mood (similar to the piano concerto).  Most of the piece is very melodic, with flashes of humor, and snatches of melody and harmony that seem to be jazz inspired.   The violin-cello sonata is a more intense work.  There are passages with broadly appealing melodies (which strike me as sounding more like Bartok than Honegger) and other passages with vigorous counterpoint and thorny harmonies.  A real delight.  The disc is rounded out by two sonatas for cello and piano (one a transcription of a clarinet piece) which are well done but more conventional.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on June 20, 2011, 04:00:21 AM



Seeing my older post I realized that I was planning to put some mention on this thread of my experience with some other concertante works of Honegger that are not well known (but perhaps should be).   There is a nice collection of music with cello from BIS.



That CC is very laid back with a summery jazz feeling. I've got Webber.

The two most interesting works here (from my point of view) are the cello concerto, and sonata for violin and cello.  The first finds Honegger in an uncharacteristical good mood (similar to the piano concerto).  Most of the piece is very melodic, with flashes of humor, and snatches of melody and harmony that seem to be jazz inspired.   The violin-cello sonata is a more intense work.  There are passages with broadly appealing melodies (which strike me as sounding more like Bartok than Honegger) and other passages with vigorous counterpoint and thorny harmonies.  A real delight.  The disc is rounded out by two sonatas for cello and piano (one a transcription of a clarinet piece) which are well done but more conventional.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on June 21, 2011, 06:31:44 PM
Yo, busted out da Honegger,... Monopartita, his last piece. It has the same plagent lyricism as Symphony No.5. Late Honegger makes me so nostalgic.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on June 21, 2011, 06:39:08 PM
Yo, busted out da Honegger,... Monopartita, his last piece. It has the same plagent lyricism as Symphony No.5. Late Honegger makes me so nostalgic.

Yes, Monopartita is a nice work. It's shame it isn't performed very much. It would offer a nice contrast in a concert program.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 24, 2012, 07:09:42 PM
Honegger's neglect continues to baffle me. Surely one of the most distinctive composers of the 20th Century. What's remarkable is how he stayed in Paris during WWII. It kind of reminds the way Shostakovich stayed in the Soviet Union during the Stalin Era. There was so much remarkable music written around this time.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Dundonnell on January 25, 2012, 09:57:55 AM
Honegger's neglect continues to baffle me. Surely one of the most distinctive composers of the 20th Century. What's remarkable is how he stayed in Paris during WWII. It kind of reminds the way Shostakovich stayed in the Soviet Union during the Stalin Era. There was so much remarkable music written around this time.

Aah! Honegger, Paris and the War-interesting topic ;D

Honegger, as you know, was a Swiss citizen although he was born in France and lived most of his life there. Reliable sources suggest that he was determined to remain in Paris after 1940 because he had come to regard the city as 'home'.

His music was performed in Paris during the war without apparent restriction by the German authorities although it disappeared from German concert-halls after 1933. Honegger himself joined a Resistance group within the city but was left alone by the Germans. After the Liberation a temporary ban was imposed on Honegger's music by the French because he was seen as someone whose 'record' needed to be investigated and clarified. Honegger was very bitter about this ban but it was lifted after a few months.

There seems to be a degree of dubiety about the precise relationship between Honegger and the authorities between 1940 and 1944 although the composer himself was quite clear that he was a strong opponent of the Invasion and the Occupation.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 25, 2012, 10:51:49 AM
Aah! Honegger, Paris and the War-interesting topic ;D

Honegger, as you know, was a Swiss citizen although he was born in France and lived most of his life there. Reliable sources suggest that he was determined to remain in Paris after 1940 because he had come to regard the city as 'home'.

His music was performed in Paris during the war without apparent restriction by the German authorities although it disappeared from German concert-halls after 1933. Honegger himself joined a Resistance group within the city but was left alone by the Germans. After the Liberation a temporary ban was imposed on Honegger's music by the French because he was seen as someone whose 'record' needed to be investigated and clarified. Honegger was very bitter about this ban but it was lifted after a few months.

There seems to be a degree of dubiety about the precise relationship between Honegger and the authorities between 1940 and 1944 although the composer himself was quite clear that he was a strong opponent of the Invasion and the Occupation.

Such an interesting history isn't it, Colin? :) But, as with composers, especially during this turblent time, the music speaks louder than any of their words or actions could.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on March 07, 2012, 09:48:50 PM
I've been prejudiced against the piece Rugby (Mouvement symphonique n. 2) because of the title, and don't know if I've ever really listened to it. So I talked myself into it, having Toulouse and Plasson (DG) to guide me. I'm almost sure I've never listened to the other piece either, but, so I'm listening to 'Rugby', and, it's an awesome piece, just insane with colliding movement, and I declare it a Masterpiece. Then the nest piece comes on, but I must go.

But the thing was, I had actually just listened to Pacific 231. I had completely forgotten about that piece! So, yes, wow, what a tumult of a piece, definitely,... didn't Xenakis study with Honegger for just one minute? ::) I actually read all 7 Pages of this Thread, so I know everyone's cds, and I know you all think yours is the best. I mean, this one was just as good, right? haha :D

Another piece I have similar silly prejudice against is Prelude for 'The Tempest', which seems to crown Honegger as 'King of the 5min. Tempest' (probably a great Thread opportunity there, eh?). This piece, too, I loved at first listen. I have a second version, Comstamt on Erato, which is even much more tempestuous than Plasson (4:21 to 5:05). The Pastorale d'ete was over before I heard two notes.

But I payed attention to the three selections from 'Phaedra', with the last, Mort de Phaedra, revealing itself as one of Honegger's eeriest pages. Can I get a witness?


I had quite a Honegger-mania there a few years ago. but I still haven't increased the Library since the SQs. There's a long Post with a lot of small, mouth watering pieces that all come piecemeal (ugh). Anybody up for a Honegger Binge?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 07, 2012, 09:55:17 PM
I've been prejudiced against the piece Rugby (Mouvement symphonique n. 2) because of the title, and don't know if I've ever really listened to it. So I talked myself into it, having Toulouse and Plasson (DG) to guide me. I'm almost sure I've never listened to the other piece either, but, so I'm listening to 'Rugby', and, it's an awesome piece, just insane with colliding movement, and I declare it a Masterpiece. Then the nest piece comes on, but I must go.

But the thing was, I had actually just listened to Pacific 231. I had completely forgotten about that piece! So, yes, wow, what a tumult of a piece, definitely,... didn't Xenakis study with Honegger for just one minute? ::) I actually read all 7 Pages of this Thread, so I know everyone's cds, and I know you all think yours is the best. I mean, this one was just as good, right? haha :D

Another piece I have similar silly prejudice against is Prelude for 'The Tempest', which seems to crown Honegger as 'King of the 5min. Tempest' (probably a great Thread opportunity there, eh?). This piece, too, I loved at first listen. I have a second version, Comstamt on Erato, which is even much more tempestuous than Plasson (4:21 to 5:05). The Pastorale d'ete was over before I heard two notes.

But I payed attention to the three selections from 'Phaedra', with the last, Mort de Phaedra, revealing itself as one of Honegger's eeriest pages. Can I get a witness?


I had quite a Honegger-mania there a few years ago. but I still haven't increased the Library since the SQs. There's a long Post with a lot of small, mouth watering pieces that all come piecemeal (ugh). Anybody up for a Honegger Binge?

I had quite a Honegger binge a couple of weeks ago, where were you? :D Anyway, I think he's a fine composer and his music really hits me emotionally. Underneath all of the gruff exterior lies a man whose soul was in complete turmoil. I think he had a lot of anger and it's loud and clear in his music. But I've seen several pictures of him smiling so I know he couldn't be that angry, but many people hide their true emotions quite well and I'm no exception.

Anyway, I love his music and glad you're enjoying it too, snyprrr. 8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on March 07, 2012, 10:50:46 PM
I had quite a Honegger binge a couple of weeks ago, where were you? :D Anyway, I think he's a fine composer and his music really hits me emotionally. Underneath all of the gruff exterior lies a man whose soul was in complete turmoil. I think he had a lot of anger and it's loud and clear in his music. But I've seen several pictures of him smiling so I know he couldn't be that angry, but many people hide their true emotions quite well and I'm no exception.

Anyway, I love his music and glad you're enjoying it too, snyprrr. 8)

He's definitely a throwback in the day of Poulenc and Milhaud, et al. You can tell he's trying to foster 'Beethoven Hair', no? ;D I like the pictures of him dressed 'normal'. He seems like one of the first Composer's to get a little hip, though he looks like he'd love to have lived in LvB's day.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 08, 2012, 10:45:44 AM
He's definitely a throwback in the day of Poulenc and Milhaud, et al. You can tell he's trying to foster 'Beethoven Hair', no? ;D I like the pictures of him dressed 'normal'. He seems like one of the first Composer's to get a little hip, though he looks like he'd love to have lived in LvB's day.

A throwback in the day of Poulenc and Milhaud? Perhaps, but he was Swiss of German descent while the rest of Les Six were obviously French and quite fashionable. Honegger didn't care if his music was fashionable or not, but it was Modern no doubt about quite possibly even more so than Poulenc or Milhaud. The hair totally worked for Honegger by the way. I love the way Honegger's image alone came across as being pissed off all the time. 8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Johnll on March 08, 2012, 04:40:47 PM
Ok Snyprrr you have a witness, and I will put in a good word for Plasson/Orchestra Toulouse. My post is really about a rarity namely Shostakovich’s version of Honegger’s third symphony for two pianos. I will be the first to admit it is not a personal favorite. It is on Guild, Soos and Haag on the keyboards.  This reviewer is a fan of the disc. It is on Mog (and probably Spotify, NML) so decide for yourself.
http://dschjournal.com/reviews/cd_reviews/rvs34ophon.htm
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: eyeresist on April 09, 2012, 07:18:05 PM
I have a couple of cycles of Honegger's symphonies (Plasson, Dutoit) plus the Karajan disc, but the listening experience is consistently dreery. I had a set of Martinu's piano concertos, which bored me; a disc of symphonies 1 and 2 (Flor) did delight my ears, though not thematically striking, and, as MI pointed out, notespinning. My choice for further investigation would definitely be Martinu.

And so having said this I of course went for Honegger.
I got out my two sets (Plasson and Dutoit) and compared them - this is often a good way to get to know a work. Dutoit obviously has the better sound; sadly Plasson has rather unrewarding sound, "sadly" because I think he sounds much more committed to the music. I will credit Dutoit for taking the slow movements of 1 and 4 at properly slow tempos. Otherwise, I prefer Plasson.
EDIT: I have since revised my opinion, and now prefer Dutoit. Less attention-grabbing, but his light touch suits these works admirably.

I also have Karajan's 2/3 disc. I have trouble with these two symphonies; I always lose concentration during the slow movements.

I think this nifty set may be my next purchase:



CD1 -
Pacific 231 - Jansons/Oslo
Symphony No. 2 - Munch/Paris
Danse de la Chèvre  - Jonathan Snowden [seems to be a short number for solo flute]
Cello Concerto - Rostropovich/Dubrovsky
Symphony No. 4 - Plasson/Toulouse

CD 2 -
Pastorale D'été - Martinon/Orchestre National De L'Ortf
Symphony No. 3 - Jansons/Oslo
Rugby - Martinon
Concerto da Camera - Solum/Dilkes/English Sinfonia
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 09, 2012, 07:27:03 PM
And so having said this I of course went for Honegger.
I got out my two sets (Plasson and Dutoit) and compared them - this is often a good way to get to know a work. Dutoit obviously has the better sound; sadly Plasson has rather unrewarding sound, "sadly" because I think he sounds much more committed to the music. I will credit Dutoit for taking the slow movements of 1 and 4 at properly slow tempos. Otherwise, I prefer Plasson.
I also have Karajan's 2/3 disc. I have trouble with these two symphonies; I always lose concentration during the slow movements.

I think this nifty set may be my next purchase:



CD1 -
Pacific 231 - Jansons/Oslo
Symphony No. 2 - Munch/Paris
Danse de la Chèvre  - Jonathan Snowden [seems to be a short number for solo flute]
Cello Concerto - Rostropovich/Dubrovsky
Symphony No. 4 - Plasson/Toulouse

CD 2 -
Pastorale D'été - Martinon/Orchestre National De L'Ortf
Symphony No. 3 - Jansons/Oslo
Rugby - Martinon
Concerto da Camera - Solum/Dilkes/English Sinfonia

I don't like the Plasson or Dutoit at all. My choice for a complete set is still Baudo although I'm anxious to get my hands on Luisi's set but it's hard to find and when you do find it's quite expensive. For individual recordings of symphonies/orchestral works, Jarvi, Karajan, Zinman, and Jansons will do nicely.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: eyeresist on April 09, 2012, 07:37:17 PM
I don't like the Plasson or Dutoit at all. My choice for a complete set is still Baudo although I'm anxious to get my hands on Luisi's set but it's hard to find and when you do find it's quite expensive. For individual recordings of symphonies/orchestral works, Jarvi, Karajan, Zinman, and Jansons will do nicely.
Must admit I'm slightly surprised you have no kind words for Dutoit! Do you know if his King David is any good? There's a 2-CD set with orchestral things conducted by Constant that I have my eye on.
Karajan is good, though as I said I'm still struggling with those works. I'm a bit surprised to see Neeme Jarvi recommended for anything ;)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 09, 2012, 07:45:10 PM
Must admit I'm slightly surprised you have no kind words for Dutoit! Do you know if his King David is any good? There's a 2-CD set with orchestral things conducted by Constant that I have my eye on.
Karajan is good, though as I said I'm still struggling with those works. I'm a bit surprised to see Neeme Jarvi recommended for anything ;)

There's no edge in Dutoit's Honegger recordings. All of the performances are glossed over with his typical French sheen which does not suit this music at all. I only like a few Dutoit recordings (i. e. Ravel Daphnis et Chloe, his Poulenc, Ibert). I own his King David but I haven't even heard it yet. I doubt I will anytime soon either. Jarvi is a fine conductor IMHO. I admire many of his recordings.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on April 10, 2012, 04:31:45 AM
Must admit I'm slightly surprised you have no kind words for Dutoit! Do you know if his King David is any good? There's a 2-CD set with orchestral things conducted by Constant that I have my eye on.
Karajan is good, though as I said I'm still struggling with those works. I'm a bit surprised to see Neeme Jarvi recommended for anything ;)

I'd try to get the old Erato single by Constant (Used).

I have the 2-cd,... maybe I'll try a bit of the King David later. I think this one is full orchestration. Dutoit is probably bettered in every piece, though. Nice Piano Concertino, though.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 10, 2012, 11:04:51 AM
This is a great 3 CD set of Honegger's music.  Ansermet has been very undervalued but coming in for a re-evaluation I think. This set sees the first CD release of Ansermet's fine version of the 'Liturgique Symphony', my favourite work by this composer.  As a bonus you get a deeply moving performance of Frank Martin's 'In Terra Pax' from the end of World War Two.

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: bumtz on April 10, 2012, 03:05:56 PM
Any opinions on the new Jurowski / LPO Honegger release?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Rvw16wduL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 11, 2012, 01:24:55 AM
Any opinions on the new Jurowski / LPO Honegger release?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Rvw16wduL._SS400_.jpg)

Bit disappointing. Nice recording quality but thought performance of Symphony No 4 underpowered - much prefer the old Ansermet. The Christmas Cantata is much better. Still, a good CD but not great in my view and the programme is nice.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: eyeresist on April 11, 2012, 04:25:02 PM
Jarvi is a fine conductor IMHO. I admire many of his recordings.

I did a comparison of samples of the 5th, and Jarvi is now definitely on my list!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 11, 2012, 04:34:04 PM
I did a comparison of samples of the 5th, and Jarvi is now definitely on my list!

I knew you would give in. It really was just a matter of time. ;) :D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on April 11, 2012, 04:44:38 PM
This is a great 3 CD set of Honegger's music.  Ansermet has been very undervalued but coming in for a re-evaluation I think. This set sees the first CD release of Ansermet's fine version of the 'Liturgique Symphony', my favourite work by this composer.



Yes, Ansermet's efforts were always worthy of a listen!  Especially with Honegger!

Not to be forgotten, from the early stereo era:



Serge Baudo and the Czech Philharmonic.

And amazingly, this LP cover from the 60's - which I always thought was hysterical - was posted on Google!

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Serge-Baudo-Honegger-Symphony-No-2-and-3-Record-LP-/04/!BUuIZ!!BGk~$%28KGrHgoOKkMEjlLmYg%28TBKO8Mck9kQ~~_35.JPG)

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: eyeresist on April 11, 2012, 05:20:03 PM
That cover doesn't exactly encourage the right attitude to the music :(
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on April 11, 2012, 05:41:31 PM
That cover doesn't exactly encourage the right attitude to the music :(

I always wondered about that!  Does it mean that A Honegger symphony leaves notes behind...in your mind?

Or does Honegger use "too many notes" like Mozart?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on April 11, 2012, 05:50:24 PM
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kW1NuNzYcG0/TyEFulu3TBI/AAAAAAAAEf0/PuiNatCeZvY/s1600/p33g_sh_dvorak_y.jpg)

Apparently by the same artist!  Love the timpanist!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: eyeresist on April 11, 2012, 06:18:59 PM
The artist's cartoons are attractive, but surely more suited to PDQ Bach than serious music.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2012, 12:07:28 AM
Yes, Ansermet's efforts were always worthy of a listen!  Especially with Honegger!

Not to be forgotten, from the early stereo era:



Serge Baudo and the Czech Philharmonic.

And amazingly, this LP cover from the 60's - which I always thought was hysterical - was posted on Google!

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Serge-Baudo-Honegger-Symphony-No-2-and-3-Record-LP-/04/!BUuIZ!!BGk~$%28KGrHgoOKkMEjlLmYg%28TBKO8Mck9kQ~~_35.JPG)

Yes, the Baudo set of the symphonies was excellent. The other great Honegger discs IMHO are Karajan's DGG recording of symphonies 2 and 3 (I am not generally a fan of Karajan - nice rhyme by the way  :P)

Also Jarvi's Chandos Version of symphonies 3 and 5

Janson's recording of symphonies 2 and 3 on EMI

Markevitch's version of Symphony 5 (DGG)

Munch's version of 2 and 5 (RCA)

The Supraphon version of 'Joan of Arc'

All Ansermet's recordings, especially Symphony 4 and 'King David'.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on April 12, 2012, 01:55:40 AM

The Supraphon version of 'Joan of Arc'


All Ansermet's recordings, especially Symphony 4 and 'King David'.


Joan of Arc at the Stake
on Supraphon was another Honegger performance by Baudo and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

It is hard to believe that 40 and in some cases 50 years have gone by since these came out!   :o   But consider the curiosity: would we be recommending recordings from 1910 in 1960?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2012, 03:09:39 AM

Joan of Arc at the Stake
on Supraphon was another Honegger performance by Baudo and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

It is hard to believe that 40 and in some cases 50 years have gone by since these came out!   :o   But consider the curiosity: would we be recommending recordings from 1910 in 1960?

And that's still my favourite version of 'Joan of Arc' - a great work in my view. I think there is something special about some of the early pioneering recordings and as a history teacher I've always had an interest in historical recordings.  Furtwangler's Berlin recording of Bruckner's 9th Symphony from 1944, for example.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: not edward on April 12, 2012, 08:42:59 AM
Munch's version of 2 and 5 (RCA)
This recording doesn't get a lot of attention here, but I found it absolutely revelatory, particularly in the 2nd; hard-driving, tense and muscular. Until I'd heard it, I'd never have guessed that you could bring off the symphony at the rapid tempi that Munch uses, but for me it has an impact that dwarves that of other versions I've heard (even Karajan and Jansons). The 5th is outstanding too; the only version I'd rate alongside Markevitch.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 12, 2012, 10:00:42 AM
Thank you, gents. I think ; )
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2012, 10:44:16 AM
This recording doesn't get a lot of attention here, but I found it absolutely revelatory, particularly in the 2nd; hard-driving, tense and muscular. Until I'd heard it, I'd never have guessed that you could bring off the symphony at the rapid tempi that Munch uses, but for me it has an impact that dwarves that of other versions I've heard (even Karajan and Jansons). The 5th is outstanding too; the only version I'd rate alongside Markevitch.

Thanks for this Edward - you have encouraged me to listen to these fine performances again.  It was one of the first CDs I owned and certainly the first Honegger one.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on April 12, 2012, 11:15:11 AM
Yes, thanks Edward and Jeffrey. I checked immediately on a very cheap download site, specialising in historic recordings, and hit pay dirt (as they seem to say).


http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/144-honegger-a (http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/144-honegger-a)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2012, 12:02:17 PM
Yes, thanks Edward and Jeffrey. I checked immediately on a very cheap download site, specialising in historic recordings, and hit pay dirt (as they seem to say).


http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/144-honegger-a (http://www.classicalmusicmobile.com/144-honegger-a)

Looks like a great find Johan.
 :)
Following Edward's comments I have just fished out Munch's recording of Honneger's Symphony No. 5 (which can be found on an interesting Munch RCA Artistes Repertoires double CD set).  Edward is right - the performance is terrific - very urgent and moving - the best I have heard.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2012, 12:39:16 PM
Karl will get back to you on that.

Jeffrey

Karl It's only taken me three years to answer your question (unless of course I answered it before and forgot  :P). Honegger's 'I am a composer' was written in 1951. Much of it is in question and answer form.  Here is an extract:

As to symphonies, I value my Symphonie Liturgique the fact that it is very little indepted to traditional aesthetics.  In my opinion the following symphony, the Deliciae Basiliensis, marks a progress in craftsmanship, and contrasts well with what had gone before, and this is indispensable.  As to the Fifth, which I have just heard, conducted by my friend Charles Munch, I am not sufficiently detached from it (it dates from the end of 1950) to judge it with complete objectivity

I suspect that Honegger's book would be of considerable interest to you as a composer yourself.

There is a newish 600 page biography by Harry Halbreich which I may try to get the library to order for me.

In a way Honegger reminds me of Vaughan Williams. Especially the 'Liturgique' reminds me of Vaughan Williams's 6th Symphony in its post-war turbulence and despair although Honegger ends his symphony with the ecstatically beautiful bird song - a note of hope in the midst of despair wheres VW offers no such consolation.  Likewise, listening to Honegger's 5th Symphony this evening brought to mind Vaughan Williams's No 9.  As with the 'Liturgique' and the VW No.6 they both come from the same decade and are their last symphonies.  There is a kind of epic defiance in both works, although this time it is the Honegger work which ends in nothingness while the harps at the end of the Vaughan Williams No 9 perhaps suggest a greater level of acceptance.

Just some rambling thoughts to keep me away from marking (grading) homework from my students.  ;D

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 12, 2012, 12:52:33 PM
Most interesting, thank you, Jeffrey. I'm certainly motivated to revisit his symphonies, and I'm looking forward to the Munch/BSO disc, whenever it comes in....
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 12, 2012, 01:32:53 PM
Most interesting, thank you, Jeffrey. I'm certainly motivated to revisit his symphonies, and I'm looking forward to the Munch/BSO disc, whenever it comes in....

My pleasure Karl. Let us know what you think when you receive the disc.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: bumtz on April 13, 2012, 05:38:50 PM
Looks like a great find Johan.
 :)
Following Edward's comments I have just fished out Munch's recording of Honneger's Symphony No. 5 (which can be found on an interesting Munch RCA Artistes Repertoires double CD set).  Edward is right - the performance is terrific - very urgent and moving - the best I have heard.

Thanks man, this one would have been difficult to find on amazon without your hint (it does not list Honegger in credits). I placed an order.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on April 13, 2012, 11:34:44 PM
This recording doesn't get a lot of attention here, but I found it absolutely revelatory, particularly in the 2nd; hard-driving, tense and muscular. Until I'd heard it, I'd never have guessed that you could bring off the symphony at the rapid tempi that Munch uses, but for me it has an impact that dwarves that of other versions I've heard (even Karajan and Jansons). The 5th is outstanding too; the only version I'd rate alongside Markevitch.
I posted once upon a time here on the 5th after buying this:



calling it the best 5th I've heard. I guess it's the same set you're talking about.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: bumtz on April 14, 2012, 12:47:44 AM
Any recommendations for Symphony 1 recordings? This is the only on I still have to hear.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 14, 2012, 01:48:16 AM
Thanks man, this one would have been difficult to find on amazon without your hint (it does not list Honegger in credits). I placed an order.

Delighted to have been of help. Actually it's a very nice CD set.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 14, 2012, 01:49:03 AM
I posted once upon a time here on the 5th after buying this:



calling it the best 5th I've heard. I guess it's the same set you're talking about.

Yes - that's the one!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 14, 2012, 01:50:28 AM
Any recommendations for Symphony 1 recordings? This is the only on I still have to hear.

This is the symphony by Honegger which I hardly know. I must listen to it again.  Baudo's Supraphon performances are generally highly regarded.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on April 14, 2012, 07:50:06 AM
Any recommendations for Symphony 1 recordings? This is the only on I still have to hear.

I'd love to find a cheap one somewhere... definitely not many choices.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Drasko on April 14, 2012, 08:33:24 AM
There aren't that many solo recordings of the first symphony, actually I can think of only one: Munch live with ONd'F on Auvidis, excellent but not that readily available. Baudo's is a fine performance.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DQTA7JWAL.jpg)

http://www.amazon.de/Various-Artists-Honegger/dp/B00002MXV3
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 11:58:11 AM
I stumbled upon some Honegger rarities and a box set of his chamber music all under the Timpani label and, as it goes, I pulled the trigger:

(http://www.naxos.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/1C1035.jpg)

(http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/pi/mp/19089/6223160207p?src=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.doba.com%2Fproducts%2F474%2F675754114923.jpg&d=4ca9fd97e4a5634d33446ec8e2c96c9ffc31f1a4) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iIOvpOTEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/005/041/0000504171_350.jpg)

Almost 90% of this music will be new to my ears. Does anyone else own these recordings or have heard some of these works? I would love some feedback. This is some new territory for me, which proves that there are still gems to discover in a composer's output, but I think I have all the bases covered now in regard to Honegger's music. These were crucial gap filling recordings.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 12:01:05 PM
Also bought this recording which I hope signals a new symphony cycle:

(http://www.crescentavalleyweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/honegger23_davies.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 02, 2012, 12:41:05 PM
Also bought this recording which I hope signals a new symphony cycle:

(http://www.crescentavalleyweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/honegger23_davies.jpg)

How interesting! Let's hope so - thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 01:37:21 PM
How interesting! Let's hope so - thanks for posting.

You're welcome, Jeffrey. By the way, do you own any of the recordings I posted above? One of them is quite rare now.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 05:48:48 PM
In many of the articles I've read about Honegger, it seems that he's viewed as the 'lone wolf' of Les Six. This possibly is due to his connections with Switzerland and that his music draws upon darker and more personal experiences than any other member of the group. I thought, and this is my personal opinion, that he was the best composer of the group and, with or without them, stands on his own as a unique compositional voice in 20th Century music. Honegger's music is hard to define or categorize as he draws on so many influences and his oeuvre, contrary to what someone wrote in the Honegger Vs. Martinu thread I started, has a lot of variety from choral works to orchestral showpieces to film scores to chamber music, he wrote in almost every genre. A truly amazing composer IMHO and one that I really hope finds a way back into the concert hall again.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 02, 2012, 05:58:18 PM
Well, MI, I'm going to buy that Zinman disk that you touted in the WAYLT thread. I don't know Honegger at all, seems like I should somehow. Thanks for the tip. :)

8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 06:07:46 PM
Well, MI, I'm going to buy that Zinman disk that you touted in the WAYLT thread. I don't know Honegger at all, seems like I should somehow. Thanks for the tip. :)

8)

Excellent, Gurn! I hope you enjoy it. Have you heard any of his music prior to this purchase?

Edit: Just some fun info - I share the same birthday as Honegger as does Daniel (Madaboutmahler).
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on October 02, 2012, 06:31:32 PM
I stumbled upon some Honegger rarities and a box set of his chamber music all under the Timpani label and, as it goes, I pulled the trigger:

(http://www.naxos.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/1C1035.jpg)

(http://c.shld.net/rpx/i/s/pi/mp/19089/6223160207p?src=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.doba.com%2Fproducts%2F474%2F675754114923.jpg&d=4ca9fd97e4a5634d33446ec8e2c96c9ffc31f1a4) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iIOvpOTEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/005/041/0000504171_350.jpg)

Almost 90% of this music will be new to my ears. Does anyone else own these recordings or have heard some of these works? I would love some feedback. This is some new territory for me, which proves that there are still gems to discover in a composer's output, but I think I have all the bases covered now in regard to Honegger's music. These were crucial gap filling recordings.

The Chamber set is fine, though I preferred getting mine piecemeal. 'Le Dit' is supposed to be top drawer Honegger, and, surely, the other two would be very interesting also.

Honegger was King of the... well, he wrote a lot of nice little 7-9 minute Impressions. There's a Nocturne, a Largo, I think, a Hymne,... that all would be worth checking out. There's that Oehms disc.

Do you have the EMI Ibert set, which sounds a lot like Honegger's half-brother?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 06:38:50 PM
The Chamber set is fine, though I preferred getting mine piecemeal. 'Le Dit' is supposed to be top drawer Honegger, and, surely, the other two would be very interesting also.

Honegger was King of the... well, he wrote a lot of nice little 7-9 minute Impressions. There's a Nocturne, a Largo, I think, a Hymne,... that all would be worth checking out. There's that Oehms disc.

Do you have the EMI Ibert set, which sounds a lot like Honegger's half-brother?

Thanks for your feedback. Honegger wrote a variety of pieces --- some a considerable length (Le Roi David, Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher) and others that are shorter (Pacific 231, Rugby, Monopartita). Still, some very fine works, even if we were to examine his non-symphonic output. As for the chamber music set, it was much, much cheaper for me to acquire the whole set at one time than collect individually plus I got Amazon Prime for a month so I took advantage of their free two-day shipping. 8) Couldn't turn that down.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 06:43:30 PM
As for Ibert, I've got several recordings of his music. My favorite one being perhaps the Dutoit-led recording on Decca:

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/jaquettes/0002/0002894403322_600.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 08:52:53 PM
Anyway, apparently the last orchestral work Honegger composed was Monopartita. I really like this moody work. I wished he lived longer to compose more symphonies. :) There's no telling where he would have went. I wonder if he would have mellowed out? There's no telling. I'm going to try to find a good biography on his life. He's certainly a fascinating composer and I found it rather strange that he remained in Paris during WWII, but my understanding was that the Nazis didn't bother him too much. Imagine being in that environment as an innocent bystander? This war, from what I've read, also had a negative effect on his overall outlook on life.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 02, 2012, 08:56:48 PM
I found a biography, obviously not a book length one with meticulous detail, but a good one from an online source:

http://www.arthur-honegger.com/anglais/biographie.php
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on October 02, 2012, 09:26:12 PM
As for Ibert, I've got several recordings of his music. My favorite one being perhaps the Dutoit-led recording on Decca:

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/jaquettes/0002/0002894403322_600.jpg)

Yea, I wanna I wanna get that. The samples to Paris make it sound like a great piece.

Anyway, apparently the last orchestral work Honegger composed was Monopartita. I really like this moody work. I wished he lived longer to compose more symphonies. :) There's no telling where he would have went. I wonder if he would have mellowed out? There's no telling. I'm going to try to find a good biography on his life. He's certainly a fascinating composer and I found it rather strange that he remained in Paris during WWII, but my understanding was that the Nazis didn't bother him too much. Imagine being in that environment as an innocent bystander? This war, from what I've read, also had a negative effect on his overall outlook on life.

Hindemith wrote his 'Organ Concerto' in what, 1963? He was still pretty thorny. Malipiero, Bloch, HVL, they all continued to 'harden' their language, but never breaking with tonality. I think Honegger would have continued alike. Perhaps a 'Symphonie No.6' would have been another 'Pastoral' work, whereas a '7th' might have been a mighty combination of all things in a steely Beethovinian cast. I think he had Masterpieces left.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on October 02, 2012, 10:12:11 PM
The biography by Harry Halbreich, Arthur Honegger, published by Amadeus Press in 1999. This is the first extensive study that is objective about the musician. Following a lively and detailed chronology of the life of Honegger, Harry Halbreich reviews the complete works before summarizing his vision of the artist and his music. This is the main work on the musician

(http://www.arthur-honegger.com/img/halbreich.jpg)

The English translation may have a different cover.

Halbreich has gone to great lenghts to find all the details about every work, sketch and early work. Really quite amazing and a very interesting read.

PS: I wouldn't call Le dit des jeux du monde major Honegger. It is interesting and the parts for orchetra stand out. The percussion interludes sound dull compared to Milhaud ( l'Homme et son désir, Choéphores...) or Stravinsky ( Noces ).
The same goes, in my opinion, for Sémiramis, Amphion and l'Impératrice aux rochers. All works ( melodramas) were made for the theater ( Ida Rubinstein) and propably loose some of their impact as concertworks.
Honegger made orchestral suites from l'Impératrice" and Phèdre. Phédre is a lovely and dark score, which adds six female voices to the orchestra. There's an old recording on Olympia ( Rozhsdestvenky) that is very good. But a new one in better sound would be welcome.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41C3A4MN5ML._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

P.

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 03, 2012, 01:48:33 AM
You're welcome, Jeffrey. By the way, do you own any of the recordings I posted above? One of them is quite rare now.

Sadly not John!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 03, 2012, 01:51:02 AM
I really like his film score for the animated film 'L'Idee' - very poetic, haunting and oddly moving. I think that it's on Naxos now.

Here it is:

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 03, 2012, 03:02:17 AM
Excellent, Gurn! I hope you enjoy it. Have you heard any of his music prior to this purchase?

Edit: Just some fun info - I share the same birthday as Honegger as does Daniel (Madaboutmahler).

No, no, not at all. But I do like other composers from that same era (particularly Bloch), and dammit, I have a fascination with trains that can be construed as an attraction too.   :)

I had no idea you were that old, and I thought Daniel was a mere teenager!   :o :o

8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on October 03, 2012, 05:03:41 AM
No, no, not at all. But I do like other composers from that same era (particularly Bloch), and dammit, I have a fascination with trains that can be construed as an attraction too.   :)

I had no idea you were that old, and I thought Daniel was a mere teenager!   :o :o

8)

For Honegger novices, I'd recommend, in order (sort of):

Symphony No.4
Concerto da Camera
Cello Concerto
Piano Concertino
the 'Summer' piece
Symphony No.5
Symphony No.1

For me, I really didn't get Honegger until I heard these pieces. The famous Symphonies 2-4 are definitely NOT my favorite Honegger, and if this is all you know of Honegger, the pieces I mentioned are much more convivial.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: mjwal on October 03, 2012, 05:43:01 AM
I am touched by this: "During the cremation at Père Lachaise, Cocteau said these words:
    Arthur, you managed to gain the respect of a disrespectful era. You combined the science of an architect of the Middle Ages with the simplicity of a humble cathedral stonemason. Your cinders are burning and will never cool down, even if our earth has stopped living. For music is not of this world, and its reign has no end." ( to be found at arthur-honegger.com ). Honegger wrote a very powerful, but pretty dissonant version of Antigone to Cocteau's text. I have this on LP, but haven't listened for a while. I love that cello concerto, too.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 06:39:57 AM
Wow...I go to sleep and there's all this activity here while I'm gone. Great! :D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 06:43:06 AM
I am touched by this: "During the cremation at Père Lachaise, Cocteau said these words:
    Arthur, you managed to gain the respect of a disrespectful era. You combined the science of an architect of the Middle Ages with the simplicity of a humble cathedral stonemason. Your cinders are burning and will never cool down, even if our earth has stopped living. For music is not of this world, and its reign has no end." ( to be found at arthur-honegger.com ).

I also thought that was wonderful what Cocteau said about Honegger. He gained a lot of respect from his contemporaries during his life. If you read that full biography, which I assume you did, I also thought it was interesting how he really became the most famous member of Les Six during his life. Poulenc and Milhaud never got the same kind of attention and admiration from concert goers.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 06:51:59 AM
Yea, I wanna I wanna get that. The samples to Paris make it sound like a great piece.

It's a great recording. You'll enjoy it I think. Ibert was essentially a neoclassical composer and he wrote some good music, but there's nothing profound about it IMHO. It's just good, clean fun.

Hindemith wrote his 'Organ Concerto' in what, 1963? He was still pretty thorny. Malipiero, Bloch, HVL, they all continued to 'harden' their language, but never breaking with tonality. I think Honegger would have continued alike. Perhaps a 'Symphonie No.6' would have been another 'Pastoral' work, whereas a '7th' might have been a mighty combination of all things in a steely Beethovinian cast. I think he had Masterpieces left.

I thought Honegger had many masterpieces left him too. It seemed that traveling to the United States plagued him. I believe he had angina, which brought on his first heart attack and eventually led to his death. He eventually couldn't even compose anymore. The very last work he composed I believe was Une cantate de Noël which he completed in 1953. Truly a shame what happened to him in his later years as I thought there was so much more he could have given us.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 06:53:26 AM
The biography by Harry Halbreich, Arthur Honegger, published by Amadeus Press in 1999. This is the first extensive study that is objective about the musician. Following a lively and detailed chronology of the life of Honegger, Harry Halbreich reviews the complete works before summarizing his vision of the artist and his music. This is the main work on the musician

(http://www.arthur-honegger.com/img/halbreich.jpg)

The English translation may have a different cover.

Halbreich has gone to great lenghts to find all the details about every work, sketch and early work. Really quite amazing and a very interesting read.

PS: I wouldn't call Le dit des jeux du monde major Honegger. It is interesting and the parts for orchetra stand out. The percussion interludes sound dull compared to Milhaud ( l'Homme et son désir, Choéphores...) or Stravinsky ( Noces ).
The same goes, in my opinion, for Sémiramis, Amphion and l'Impératrice aux rochers. All works ( melodramas) were made for the theater ( Ida Rubinstein) and propably loose some of their impact as concertworks.
Honegger made orchestral suites from l'Impératrice" and Phèdre. Phédre is a lovely and dark score, which adds six female voices to the orchestra. There's an old recording on Olympia ( Rozhsdestvenky) that is very good. But a new one in better sound would be welcome.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41C3A4MN5ML._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

P.

Thanks for this information. I'll definitely look into that biography at some point.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 06:55:32 AM
I really like his film score for the animated film 'L'Idee' - very poetic, haunting and oddly moving. I think that it's on Naxos now.

Here it is:



Yes, that's a great recording as is this one:



Speaking of Naxos recordings, I'm about to buy some Honegger on Naxos. Time to shop around.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 06:57:23 AM
No, no, not at all. But I do like other composers from that same era (particularly Bloch), and dammit, I have a fascination with trains that can be construed as an attraction too.   :)

I had no idea you were that old, and I thought Daniel was a mere teenager!   :o :o

8)

Excellent, Gurn. I hope you enjoy the music as much as I have. Honegger is a favorite of mine. When I said Daniel and I share his birthday, I just meant the month and day, not the year. :D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 03, 2012, 07:29:58 AM
Excellent, Gurn. I hope you enjoy the music as much as I have. Honegger is a favorite of mine. When I said Daniel and I share his birthday, I just meant the month and day, not the year. :D

I fully expect to enjoy it. People have a misconception of my tastes, probably my own fault..

Oh, different years...   :-[

:D

8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on October 03, 2012, 07:32:14 AM
I fully expect to enjoy it. People have a misconception of my tastes, probably my own fault...

Oh?! There's no misconception.  :-*
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 07:33:30 AM
I fully expect to enjoy it. People have a misconception of my tastes, probably my own fault..

Oh, different years...   :-[

:D

8)

Yeah, I certainly never labeled you as a 20th Century listener. That's for sure. I always got the impression that you're a Classical Era guy and that was about it. Good to hear that this is certainly not the case and a misjudgment on my part.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2012, 09:10:28 AM
For me, I really didn't get Honegger until I heard these pieces. The famous Symphonies 2-4 are definitely NOT my favorite Honegger, and if this is all you know of Honegger, the pieces I mentioned are much more convivial.

Obviously just your opinion and one that I disagree with. To hear Symphonies 2 & 3, is to witness a man in complete turmoil and someone who is full of angst and bitterness over a war that costs the lives of a lot of innocent people. These two works do contain many lyrical moments and reveal a depth to Honegger's music that isn't all motor rhythms and blowing off steam (no pun intended ;)). The Adagio of Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique" is one of the most moving moments I know in music. To not be affected by the beauty of this particular movement is to not understand what really lies at the heart of Honegger's music: a sombre, haunted heart. I still love works like Pacific 231 and Rugby. It doesn't matter how many times I hear them, they're awesome regardless of their popularity.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 04, 2012, 10:59:30 AM
I am touched by this: "During the cremation at Père Lachaise, Cocteau said these words:
    Arthur, you managed to gain the respect of a disrespectful era. You combined the science of an architect of the Middle Ages with the simplicity of a humble cathedral stonemason. Your cinders are burning and will never cool down, even if our earth has stopped living. For music is not of this world, and its reign has no end." ( to be found at arthur-honegger.com ). Honegger wrote a very powerful, but pretty dissonant version of Antigone to Cocteau's text. I have this on LP, but haven't listened for a while. I love that cello concerto, too.

Wonderful quote - thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: CriticalI on October 04, 2012, 04:59:20 PM
For Honegger novices, I'd recommend, in order (sort of):

Symphony No.4
Concerto da Camera
Cello Concerto
Piano Concertino
the 'Summer' piece
Symphony No.5
Symphony No.1

For me, I really didn't get Honegger until I heard these pieces. The famous Symphonies 2-4 are definitely NOT my favorite Honegger, and if this is all you know of Honegger, the pieces I mentioned are much more convivial.

This is interesting, but I assume you mean symphonies 2-3 aren't your favourites? I find Karajan's heaviosity offputting in these, and prefer Dutoit's swifter, more classical approach. I guess I must also seek out the concertos now.

What is this "summer piece" you speak of?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 04, 2012, 05:22:17 PM
This is interesting, but I assume you mean symphonies 2-3 aren't your favourites? I find Karajan's heaviosity offputting in these, and prefer Dutoit's swifter, more classical approach. I guess I must also seek out the concertos now.

There are other performances of Symphonies 2 & 3 besides Karajan's and Dutoit's. You shouldn't let Herr Karajan ruin your overall impressions of these symphonies. I'm starting to not enjoy Karajan's recording either and it has started to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I listened to it last night and even though I gave it superlative marks at that time, I listened to Baudo's performances of these symphonies earlier and I believe I'm starting to favor Baudo's much more. Jarvi, on Chandos, has an excellent recording of Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique" that should try to check out at some point. I haven't listened to Dutoit's set of Honegger in quite some time, but I remember when I listened to them several years ago I recall them being soft-edged, but my impression of them may very well be different now. Anyway, these are two of Honegger's greatest works and I would urge to seek out other performances besides Dutoit's and Karajan's.

Anyway, love Honegger. Life is good. :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: CriticalI on October 04, 2012, 05:40:37 PM
I haven't listened to Dutoit's set of Honegger in quite some time, but I remember when I listened to them several years ago I recall them being soft-edged, but my impression of them may very well be different now.

Yes, my initial impression of Dutoit was unfavourable, but I quite like him now.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 04, 2012, 05:52:48 PM
Yes, my initial impression of Dutoit was unfavourable, but I quite like him now.

Is there a performance in the Dutoit you favor the most? I'd like to start digging back into at some point. Symphony No. 1 is a fascinating work which I'm sure Dutoit would do well in. It's 2nd and 3rd symphonies where Dutoit has a lot of solid competition. The 4th symphony has become better known, but the 5th is still pretty obscure compared to the more popular ones. Have you heard Serge Baudo's set? This is one to get.

(http://cdn.7static.com/static/img/sleeveart/00/008/948/0000894824_350.jpg)

Plus you have the Czech Philharmonic playing this music will all the edge one could want, but they do know how to play softer and more delicately when the music calls for it. Baudo keeps a taut line on them, but he really lets them rip on several occasions.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: CriticalI on October 04, 2012, 05:59:42 PM
Is there a performance in the Dutoit you favor the most? I'd like to start digging back into at some point. Symphony No. 1 is a fascinating work which I'm sure Dutoit would do well in. It's 2nd and 3rd symphonies where Dutoit has a lot of solid competition. The 4th symphony has become better known, but the 5th is still pretty obscure compared to the more popular ones. Have you heard Serge Baudo's set? This is one to get.

None of the performances really blows me away - that's not how Dutoit operates. He's more classical, as I said earlier, and I think his set has a fairly consistent quality. I should get hold of the Baudo set, but it's not a priority just at the moment.

Did you ever hear Dutoit's Roussel set? I'm wondering if it's a valid alternative.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 04, 2012, 06:17:48 PM
None of the performances really blows me away - that's not how Dutoit operates. He's more classical, as I said earlier, and I think his set has a fairly consistent quality. I should get hold of the Baudo set, but it's not a priority just at the moment.

Did you ever hear Dutoit's Roussel set? I'm wondering if it's a valid alternative.

I like Dutoit's performance of Roussel's 1st symphony. That's about it. Deneve and Janowski are my preferred choices in Roussel. If you can find Bernstein's performance of Roussel's 3rd then don't hesitate to get it. Really fantastic performance IMHO. Speaking of Roussel, I bought a recent reissue of Ansermet conducting the 3rd and 4th symphonies plus the ballet The Spider's Feast, so we'll see how ol' Ansermet stacks up against the competition.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: CriticalI on October 04, 2012, 06:37:35 PM
I like Dutoit's performance of Roussel's 1st symphony. That's about it. Deneve and Janowski are my preferred choices in Roussel.

Deneve impressed me at first, but now I find there's something harsh and ungratifying there, not sure if it's the sound or the musical approach. Janowski I should look out for. Munch has also been mentioned favourably, but those recordings are strewn pretty widely.


Re: the 'summer piece', I now realise that's better known as the Pastorale d'été. I should hear it again.

Man, at the moment, what I really need is less coffee and more music  0:)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 04, 2012, 06:46:11 PM
Deneve impressed me at first, but now I find there's something harsh and ungratifying there, not sure if it's the sound or the musical approach. Janowski I should look out for. Munch has also been mentioned favourably, but those recordings are strewn pretty widely.


Re: the 'summer piece', I now realise that's better known as the Pastorale d'été. I should hear it again.

Man, at the moment, what I really need is less coffee and more music  0:)

I like Deneve's Roussel recordings a lot, especially of the 2nd symphony and for the ballets. Bernstein's still has the best 3rd on record.

Anyway, getting back to Honegger, have you heard Honegger's Monopartita? It's his last orchestral work and a lovely one at that.

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: CriticalI on October 04, 2012, 06:56:33 PM
Anyway, getting back to Honegger, have you heard Honegger's Monopartita? It's his last orchestral work and a lovely one at that.

Another one I need to hear again! I have it on a 2-CD set with Dutoit conducting King David, a piece I really don't care for (I also have the Ansermet recording).
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 04, 2012, 07:33:32 PM
 :(
Another one I need to hear again! I have it on a 2-CD set with Dutoit conducting King David, a piece I really don't care for (I also have the Ansermet recording).

Yeah, Le Roi David is really for Honegger completists only. I think Honegger was at his best in orchestral music. He knew how to manupilate the orchestra and his orchestration was always quite varied. I, too, have this 2-CD Apex set, but I have yet to listen the 2nd disc. I need to change this! The only performance of Monopartita I heard is Zinman's. Let me know your thoughts of this work once you have listened to it again.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 05, 2012, 12:33:57 AM
Also bought this recording which I hope signals a new symphony cycle:

(http://www.crescentavalleyweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/honegger23_davies.jpg)

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/Oct12/Honegger_syms_SOB02.htm
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 06:02:12 AM
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/Oct12/Honegger_syms_SOB02.htm

Thanks for this Jeffrey. The reviewer kept comparing this 3rd performance with Karajan's stating that they liked it better, but, to be honest, I don't much care for Karajan's anymore, so this means I'll probably like this particular performance more than they did. :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on October 05, 2012, 11:36:13 PM
Thanks for this Jeffrey. The reviewer kept comparing this 3rd performance with Karajan's stating that they liked it better, but, to be honest, I don't much care for Karajan's anymore, so this means I'll probably like this particular performance more than they did. :)

Yes, it's true that not everyone likes the Karajan - one reviewer found it too 'militaristic' but I think that the haunting birdsong at the end is unrivalled in the Karajan version.  I have ordered the new version and will report back in due course.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on October 06, 2012, 05:39:21 AM
Yes, it's true that not everyone likes the Karajan - one reviewer found it too 'militaristic' but I think that the haunting birdsong at the end is unrivalled in the Karajan version.  I have ordered the new version and will report back in due course.

Yeah, I hope I get this Honegger/Davies recording in the mail today.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 26, 2013, 11:14:45 AM
Getting back to this thread after a long hiatus, I listened to that Davies recording and I found it quite weak compared to the Karajan. I know I mentioned that I didn't much care for the Karajan performance, but I'm starting to see that performance's merit much more clearly now. Oh, how I wish Bernstein had conducted more Honegger to make even more comparisons. I wonder what drew Karajan to record Honegger's 2nd and 3rd? Ilaria, our Karajan expert, could you perhaps answer this one? :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 27, 2013, 08:30:58 PM
Does anyone here own the Fabio Luisi cycle on Cascavelle label? This is an absolutely first-rate set and blows Dutoit out of the water, which was easy to do anyway since I don't think Dutoit's style of conducting suits Honegger's more rigid, angular style. The Luisi set is incredibly difficult to track down and when you do you'll most certainly pay for it.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 29, 2013, 07:05:53 AM
No Honegger nuts here have heard Fabio Luisi's symphony set? ??? Not even Jeffrey?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on March 29, 2013, 02:28:54 PM
No Honegger nuts here have heard Fabio Luisi's symphony set? ??? Not even Jeffrey?

Hello John! Have been away from the forum due mainly to pressure of work. I do have the Luisi set somewhere in the myriad piles of CDs here (OCDCDCD). It's a while since I played it but I'll try to fish it out over the weekend and report back.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 29, 2013, 02:53:41 PM
Hello John! Have been away from the forum due mainly to pressure of work. I do have the Luisi set somewhere in the myriad piles of CDs here (OCDCDCD). It's a while since I played it but I'll try to fish it out over the weekend and report back.

I'm glad to see you posting again, Jeffrey. I have to say I'm very impressed with Luisi's performances. As I mentioned, I thought of them better than Dutoit and equal, and in some cases much better, than Baudo.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on April 01, 2013, 12:20:13 PM
Last friday Dutch radio programmed "Judith" ( in its oratorio form, with "récitante") and the ( all too short) Cantique de Pâques.

Cantique de Pâques is extremely lovely : three female soloists( sop.,mezzo,alto) female chorus and orchestra.
It is a fragment Honegger kept from a never finished project "Mystère de Pâques"

Its six minutes have a Debussyan transparency ( harp, celesta..), but clearly prefigures le roi David.

Judith is a biblical drama which exists in three versions:
1/ as a "drame biblique" (1928) written for le Théâtre du Jorat ( idem Le roi David) and scored for an orchestra, including harmonium, 2 piano's, strings and percussion.
2/as an " opera sérieux"
3/as an "action musicale" or oratorio for speaker, soli, chorus and orchestra.

Radio Kamer Filharmonie
Groot Omroepkoor
Paula Murrihy, mezzosopraan (Judith)
Marie-Eve Munger, sopraan
Olivia Vermeulen, mezzosopraan (Servante)
Liesbeth List, récitante
Ani Sargsyan, mezzosopraan

Honegger - Cantique de Pâques
Haydn - Symfonie nr. 49 'La passione'
Honegger - Judith

 http://radio.omroep.nl/u/187400/?silverlight

One can listen again to the performance. Liesbet List is an ageing "chansonnière" ... rather awkward choice for the role of "récitante".
Even so, it's good to see that Honegger's music is performed

I suppose that soon the concert can be seen aswell
http://www.radio4.nl/webcasts
( check it out - plenty of great performances to be seen & heard there)

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 01, 2013, 06:08:28 PM
Jeffrey, have you given Luisi's Honegger a listen yet?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 02, 2013, 10:14:29 AM
Jeffrey, have you given Luisi's Honegger a listen yet?

Still can't find it  :o

I'll report back as soon as I do!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 02, 2013, 10:45:13 AM
Still can't find it  :o

I'll report back as soon as I do!

 ??? Oh I hope you find it!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955): LANDOWSKI 1,3,4
Post by: snyprrr on June 11, 2013, 07:05:54 PM
Landowski was Honegger's disciple, so, of course we were eager to FINALLY hear the Symphonies of Marcel Landowski, as recorded on a classic old Erato disc that probably most either have, or remember seeing in the record store (remember?, that was the 20th century).

The 1st comes from 1949, and opens similarly to Frank Martin's Violin Concerto, with flutes steadily reiterating in one tempo whilst other music flow beneath and around. I hear more of Martin and Dutilleux than Honegger in Landowski here (perhaps the Honegger is in the rhythmic cadence of the flutes?). The flute(s) theme returns again later, and the Finale is a massive, and impressive, Chorale. This is a very auspicious debut Symphony in my estimation, perhaps a cousin of Dutilleux's; it made me want to compare slightly to a French Henze No.2?

No.3, from 1965, is more advanced, but still playful. Perhaps a playful Lutoslawski? And perhaps again Dutilleux? It is quite cinematic, Landowski mainly known for one particular film which escapes me at the moment (you all know it). It's a good example of what the Old Guard could do in 1965. All Modern 'Devices' are used to generally Tonal Aims, and the music flows freely in two movements equalling 16mins. No.2 exists on a single 28min. disc on the Erato Landowski Box.

The 4th is a summing up from 1988 that continues in ultra-cinematic style in five movements expressing differing soundworlds. Really, the only description is Mid-Century Modern French. I find it somewhat reassuring music from 1988, since it really is a summing up of the French Century.


This disc has been on the radar forever, so, OF COURSE I was just slightly disappointed the the heavens didn't part (though, in Landowski's cinematic style, there is MUCH convincing dramatic music that doesn't come off in the least as movie music). There is something exotic in all of Landowski's music, like it's the dream soundtrack to 'Lost Horizon' or Kubla Khan's Pleasure Dome. It's exotic like Villa-Lobos, but with wholly different scenery,... I keep seeing Kong Island and Pleasure Domes.

I'd say Ohana and Dutilleux and Martin, and some aspects of Honegger, are what I hear in this classic cd. Since it is most likely the one and only introduction one will ever get of Landowski, I want to lay it on the line. Just as much as Myaskovsly is Nostalgic, so are these Symphonies by Landowski, with of course totally different sound worlds and aims.

Landowski strikes the balance between Honegger and Dutilleux.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955): LANDOWSKI 1,3,4
Post by: snyprrr on July 10, 2013, 06:17:22 AM
Landowski was Honegger's disciple, so, of course we were eager to FINALLY hear the Symphonies of Marcel Landowski, as recorded on a classic old Erato disc that probably most either have, or remember seeing in the record store (remember?, that was the 20th century).

The 1st comes from 1949, and opens similarly to Frank Martin's Violin Concerto, with flutes steadily reiterating in one tempo whilst other music flow beneath and around. I hear more of Martin and Dutilleux than Honegger in Landowski here (perhaps the Honegger is in the rhythmic cadence of the flutes?). The flute(s) theme returns again later, and the Finale is a massive, and impressive, Chorale. This is a very auspicious debut Symphony in my estimation, perhaps a cousin of Dutilleux's; it made me want to compare slightly to a French Henze No.2?

No.3, from 1965, is more advanced, but still playful. Perhaps a playful Lutoslawski? And perhaps again Dutilleux? It is quite cinematic, Landowski mainly known for one particular film which escapes me at the moment (you all know it). It's a good example of what the Old Guard could do in 1965. All Modern 'Devices' are used to generally Tonal Aims, and the music flows freely in two movements equalling 16mins. No.2 exists on a single 28min. disc on the Erato Landowski Box.

The 4th is a summing up from 1988 that continues in ultra-cinematic style in five movements expressing differing soundworlds. Really, the only description is Mid-Century Modern French. I find it somewhat reassuring music from 1988, since it really is a summing up of the French Century.


This disc has been on the radar forever, so, OF COURSE I was just slightly disappointed the the heavens didn't part (though, in Landowski's cinematic style, there is MUCH convincing dramatic music that doesn't come off in the least as movie music). There is something exotic in all of Landowski's music, like it's the dream soundtrack to 'Lost Horizon' or Kubla Khan's Pleasure Dome. It's exotic like Villa-Lobos, but with wholly different scenery,... I keep seeing Kong Island and Pleasure Domes.

I'd say Ohana and Dutilleux and Martin, and some aspects of Honegger, are what I hear in this classic cd. Since it is most likely the one and only introduction one will ever get of Landowski, I want to lay it on the line. Just as much as Myaskovsly is Nostalgic, so are these Symphonies by Landowski, with of course totally different sound worlds and aims.

Landowski strikes the balance between Honegger and Dutilleux.

Cello Concerto
Violin Concerto
Symphony No.5


Well, well, look what the postman brought!

The CC is a work from the '40s. There are a few pointers as to what, perhaps, a Big, Serious Honegger CC might look like (I'm sure we'll all agree that his is quite Pastoral as is). Stravinsky and the '20s certainly also are present. Still, I'm reminded of the dearth of good CCs @'30s-'40s (yes, I know, Hindemith, Martinu, Ibert,...).

The VC is from the '90s. I quite enjoyed this one, very very lyrical, and it seemed slightly spare,... the violin seems to play mostly solo a lot. The closest compare I'd make would be Lutoslawski, though Landowski is much more tonal. I hear this is on a Menuhin Box.

The Symphony No.5 continues the cinematic Panavision of No.4. To me now, Landowski is the 'Film Music' master. No.5 sounds just as much a revealing of Shangri-La as the No.4 (also Late) was. Parallel chords auger the mysterious, in fact Landowski seems to trade in 'misterioso' passages.

It's hard not to take Landowski for granted: here we sit on the other side of the equation, everything before us; it's hard to give him proper credit when we hear so much cinema flowing by our ears. We've heard snatches of these 'scenes' before, but of course not in 'full length' (movie music is always clipped to the scene). Perhaps I like Salonen's cinema music a bit better, but Salonen's technique is much more saturated and overlapping. Landowski is still from the Old School,... I'd rate him as if Martinu had continued living into the '80s, perhaps?

It also helps to relate Landowski to Honegger; though it's not absolutely obvious, the stylistic similarities lie in the 'humanness' and the turns of mood (?). There's also some Messiaen,Lutoslawski,... perhaps Landowski's main drawback is a similarity to most French Masters without really breaking out with an audacious originality. But, as far as the 'War Generation' goes, Landowski in his later works really does a nice summing up.

Thanks friend
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955): LANDOWSKI 1,3,4
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 10, 2013, 06:32:20 AM
The CC is a work from the '40s. There are a few pointers as to what, perhaps, a Big, Serious Honegger CC might look like (I'm sure we'll all agree that his is quite Pastoral as is). Stravinsky and the '20s certainly also are present. Still, I'm reminded of the dearth of good CCs @'30s-'40s (yes, I know, Hindemith, Martinu, Ibert,...).

Moeran (1945)
Weinberg (1948)

Sarge
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 10, 2013, 06:58:01 AM
Does anyone here own the Fabio Luisi cycle on Cascavelle label? This is an absolutely first-rate set and blows Dutoit out of the water, which was easy to do anyway since I don't think Dutoit's style of conducting suits Honegger's more rigid, angular style. The Luisi set is incredibly difficult to track down and when you do you'll most certainly pay for it.

Still trying to find my copy!  ::)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2013, 05:28:37 PM
Still trying to find my copy!  ::)

Wow, it must really be buried somewhere. :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 11, 2013, 06:19:18 AM
Wow, it must really be buried somewhere. :)

Too many CDs  ::)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2013, 04:54:26 PM
Too many CDs  ::)

I know the feeling. :D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on July 12, 2013, 02:42:28 AM
Those with really too many CDs are buried under the avalanche and cannot post here.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 12, 2013, 07:05:48 PM
Those with really too many CDs are buried under the avalanche and cannot post here.

That would be you, right? ;) I know you've got a large collection, erato. Probably larger than mine.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: The new erato on July 13, 2013, 08:01:20 AM
I guess I have far from the largest collection here, only 4 Sacre's; a handful of Beetoven symphony and sonata cycles etc; and I still post...som I'm not buried.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: North Star on July 13, 2013, 10:12:04 AM
I guess I have far from the largest collection here, only 4 Sacre's; a handful of Beetoven symphony and sonata cycles etc; and I still post...som I'm not buried.
Did a digipak hit the keyboard? ;)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pencils on July 13, 2013, 04:34:59 PM
All digitised  :P

I can reach my keyboard  8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 19, 2013, 11:31:37 PM
I often come back to the music of Honegger, which I feel demonstrates an underlying humanity, which I find touching.
This CD below has been a great find for me (I actually ended up with it as a freebie thanks to a very kind Amazon marketplace dealer who wouldn't charge me due to marks on the CD which she noticed before sending it to me - it plays fine but she still wouldn't charge me). Anyway, it has a lovely performance (slower I think than some) of 'Pastorale d'ete', which is a beautiful work and I increasingly appreciate Symphony 4, which is also given an excellent performance - in fact the whole CD is good with three nice photos of the composer included in the booklet - worth looking out for:

Can't get picture to upload - here is link if you are interested

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Symphonies-2-4-Deliciae-Basilienses/dp/B00004VG0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1374309910&sr=1-1&keywords=honegger+lopez
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Parsifal on July 20, 2013, 04:48:37 AM
I often come back to the music of Honegger, which I feel demonstrates an underlying humanity, which I find touching.
This CD below has been a great find for me (I actually ended up with it as a freebie thanks to a very kind Amazon marketplace dealer who wouldn't charge me due to marks on the CD which she noticed before sending it to me - it plays fine but she still wouldn't charge me). Anyway, it has a lovely performance (slower I think than some) of 'Pastorale d'ete', which is a beautiful work and I increasingly appreciate Symphony 4, which is also given an excellent performance - in fact the whole CD is good with three nice photos of the composer included in the booklet - worth looking out for:

Can't get picture to upload - here is link if you are interested

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Symphonies-2-4-Deliciae-Basilienses/dp/B00004VG0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1374309910&sr=1-1&keywords=honegger+lopez

You loose the pictures with this release, but get some nicely done Strauss. 

I agree the recordings are very fine.  The fact that the performances are not over-demonstrative gives the music an attractive poignancy, and I think the recording of d'Eta comes off very beautifully, especially a certain ecstatic passage.


Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 20, 2013, 05:02:35 AM
I often come back to the music of Honegger, which I feel demonstrates an underlying humanity, which I find touching.
This CD below has been a great find for me (I actually ended up with it as a freebie thanks to a very kind Amazon marketplace dealer who wouldn't charge me due to marks on the CD which she noticed before sending it to me - it plays fine but she still wouldn't charge me). Anyway, it has a lovely performance (slower I think than some) of 'Pastorale d'ete', which is a beautiful work and I increasingly appreciate Symphony 4, which is also given an excellent performance - in fact the whole CD is good with three nice photos of the composer included in the booklet - worth looking out for:

Can't get picture to upload - here is link if you are interested

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Symphonies-2-4-Deliciae-Basilienses/dp/B00004VG0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1374309910&sr=1-1&keywords=honegger+lopez

I agree with your opinion of Honegger, Jeffrey. He's one of my absolute favorite composers and his music has meant a lot to me. Thanks for mentioning this recording as I just bought it for $4 in like new condition. The original on Virgin and not the reissue which Scarpia pictured. I always try to find the original first and if I can't find the original then I'll settle for the reissue. :) Look forward to hearing this Lopez-Cobos recording.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 20, 2013, 08:38:20 AM
Thank you John and Scarpia. I noticed that a US Amazon reviewer didn't like the performance of Symphony No 2 but I enjoyed it. For me though the selling points were Pastoral d'ete and Symphony No 4 and those photos of Honegger are very charming. Nice to see the great man gracing Mirror Image's messages at the moment.  :)
Now I am listening to Honegger's score for the film 'Les Miserables' (non-Anne Hathaway version). :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 20, 2013, 05:34:15 PM
Thank you John and Scarpia. I noticed that a US Amazon reviewer didn't like the performance of Symphony No 2 but I enjoyed it. For me though the selling points were Pastoral d'ete and Symphony No 4 and those photos of Honegger are very charming. Nice to see the great man gracing Mirror Image's messages at the moment.  :)
Now I am listening to Honegger's score for the film 'Les Miserables' (non-Anne Hathaway version). :)

Now, Schumann's back on my avatar. :) Yes, I did read that review and took the opinion expressed with a grain of salt. I seldom read reviews anymore. If I think the performers are going to be good, I just go for it and I'll also sample the recording via Spotify before purchasing. Honegger was such a wonderful composer. I really relate to those aggressive war-torn works.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: kyjo on July 20, 2013, 06:14:13 PM
There's nothing quite like the Karajan performances of the second and third symphonies-utterly devastating in their smoldering power. If only he had recorded more Honegger (or more lesser-known composers for that matter)! I am also very fond of Takuo Yuasa's expansive and surprisingly successful approach to no. 3 on Naxos; it's probably the second-best rendition of this masterpiece out there IMO, not far behind even Karajan's! The couplings are also excellent-the powerfully energetic Two Symphonic Movements and the gorgeous, shimmering Pastorale d'ete, which shows a different side of Honegger's musical personality. If you don't already have this Naxos disc I strongly encourage you to snap up a copy-at Naxos price you can't go wrong!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GqAXZqOhL._SY300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 20, 2013, 11:34:12 PM
You loose the pictures with this release, but get some nicely done Strauss. 

I agree the recordings are very fine.  The fact that the performances are not over-demonstrative gives the music an attractive poignancy, and I think the recording of d'Eta comes off very beautifully, especially a certain ecstatic passage.


You are quite right about the ecstatic quality of Pastorale d'ete' in this recording - that is absolutely right. This is, in my view, the finest version of this lovely work.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 20, 2013, 11:43:19 PM
There's nothing quite like the Karajan performances of the second and third symphonies-utterly devastating in their smoldering power. If only he had recorded more Honegger (or more lesser-known composers for that matter)! I am also very fond of Takuo Yuasa's expansive and surprisingly successful approach to no. 3 on Naxos; it's probably the second-best rendition of this masterpiece out there IMO, not far behind even Karajan's! The couplings are also excellent-the powerfully energetic Two Symphonic Movements and the gorgeous, shimmering Pastorale d'ete, which shows a different side of Honegger's musical personality. If you don't already have this Naxos disc I strongly encourage you to snap up a copy-at Naxos price you can't go wrong!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GqAXZqOhL._SY300_.jpg)
That Naxos CD is great. You have encouraged me to play it later today (then it will be straight back to Freitas Branco) 8)
I am not usually a great fan of Karajan but that recording of the Liturgique is in a class of it's own (especially the redemptive bird-song at the close of the work, one of my favourite moments in all 20th Century symphonies). Other recordings of the Liturgique I like are by Jansons on EMI and Jarvis on Chandos. I also like Ansermet's more underpowered version only just released on CD for the first time although most people don't think much of it (his Symphony No 4 is perhaps my favourite version). I do agree that it is a shame that Karajan didn't record more lesser-known works or Sibelius Symphony No 3 for that matter. But there is, amazingly, a recording of Walton's Symphony No 1 and I like his version of Nielsen's 4th Symphony too. But great that he did record that Honegger disc.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 21, 2013, 02:33:06 AM
Can't get picture to upload - here is link if you are interested

I am interested. Thanks for the recommendation. I found a used copy for sale in the German Amazon marketplace; the price almost as cheap as yours  :D


Sarge
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 21, 2013, 04:23:10 AM
I am interested. Thanks for the recommendation. I found a used copy for sale in the German Amazon marketplace; the price almost as cheap as yours  :D


Sarge

Yes, mine was good value Sarge  8). You will enjoy the CD.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on July 21, 2013, 04:00:10 PM
Munch No.1
Karajan 2-3
Munch 4
Markevitch 5
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 22, 2013, 04:03:39 AM
Munch No.1
Karajan 2-3
Munch 4
Markevitch 5

Wouldn't disagree with this although Ansermet's No 4 is my own favourite. I did listen to the Yuasa NZSO Naxos version of the 'Liturgique' today and it is very good. I especially liked the woodwind and string solos during the 'birdsong' epilogue, which were very affecting. The NZSO are an impressive orchestra and I have liked their Naxos recordings of Copland and their CDs of music by their compatriot Lilburn as well as their 1960s live recording of Walton's 1st Symphony conducted by the composer on the Bridge label.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 22, 2013, 02:10:44 PM
Yuasa's Honegger recording is quite good but it's not one of the best and doesn't come close to touching Jarvi or Karajan IMHO.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 23, 2013, 02:03:45 AM
in fact the whole CD is good with three nice photos of the composer included in the booklet - worth looking out for:

My copy arrived this morning. I especially like this photo; magnificent motor (as a Donleavy character might say). Left click to enlarge:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/may2013/honegger.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 23, 2013, 02:35:10 AM
My copy arrived this morning. I especially like this photo; magnificent motor (as a Donleavy character might say). Left click to enlarge:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/may2013/honegger.jpg)


Sarge

Yes, it's a super photo (as are the others). The one you show reminded me of a charming British movie 'Genevieve' (1953) about two friends and their partners in a vintage car race from Brighton to London. My daughter had never seen the movie before and loved it when we watched it a few days ago.

Hope you enjoy the CD as much as I did.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 23, 2013, 05:03:23 AM
My copy arrived this morning. I especially like this photo; magnificent motor (as a Donleavy character might say). Left click to enlarge:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/may2013/honegger.jpg)


Sarge

Great photo, Sarge!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on July 23, 2013, 05:41:39 AM
Honegger seems to represent very well this 'Modern' Composer, the one who is most photographed in cars, wearing sweaters, 'Professor' hair blowing in the wind, being physical ('Rugby'),...

It seems he would make a good template for a Composer Movie,... I could see one made in the early '60s...

He has a 'dashing' quality...


There are also pictures of Pijper near a car, I don't know why I find these things so quaint? I guess, one can look at these guys around 1939 and KNOW what they are going to go through in the next few years,... the 'change' that comes upon them all.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 23, 2013, 05:45:40 AM
Snyprrr...I'm impressed. That was possibly your most sane post ever  ;)  And moving too...seriously moving.

Sarge
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 26, 2013, 12:13:30 AM
Does anyone here own the Fabio Luisi cycle on Cascavelle label? This is an absolutely first-rate set and blows Dutoit out of the water, which was easy to do anyway since I don't think Dutoit's style of conducting suits Honegger's more rigid, angular style. The Luisi set is incredibly difficult to track down and when you do you'll most certainly pay for it.

Guess what John - I found my copy of the Luisi/Suisse Romande Honegger symphony cycle (whilst looking for something else of course  :)) I have been playing the CD containing symphonies 4 and 5 on.  I agree with you that these are outstanding performances and excellent recordings. Symphony No 4 is currently my favourite of the cycle (although I think that the greatest is No 3 'Liturgique' - which I feel is in the same spirit of the contemporaneous Symphony No 6 by Vaughan Williams - although there is no consolation at the end of the VW as there is with the Honegger).

I felt that Luisi's performance of Symphony No 4 ('Delights of Basle') had greater rhythmic urgency than in many other recordings (although I have a particular liking for Ansermet's recording on Decca). The great Symphony No 5 is given a performance of granitic strength, tempered with some beautifully realised quieter sections. It is definitely now my favourite recording of this underrated work, better even than Markevitch's fine old DGG recording.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 26, 2013, 06:04:07 PM
Guess what John - I found my copy of the Luisi/Suisse Romande Honegger symphony cycle (whilst looking for something else of course  :)) I have been playing the CD containing symphonies 4 and 5 on.  I agree with you that these are outstanding performances and excellent recordings. Symphony No 4 is currently my favourite of the cycle (although I think that the greatest is No 3 'Liturgique' - which I feel is in the same spirit of the contemporaneous Symphony No 6 by Vaughan Williams - although there is no consolation at the end of the VW as there is with the Honegger).

I felt that Luisi's performance of Symphony No 4 ('Delights of Basle') had greater rhythmic urgency than in many other recordings (although I have a particular liking for Ansermet's recording on Decca). The great Symphony No 5 is given a performance of granitic strength, tempered with some beautifully realised quieter sections. It is definitely now my favourite recording of this underrated work, better even than Markevitch's fine old DGG recording.

Woo hoo! Great performances for sure, Jeffrey. I've read several reviews that claim that Luisi's choice of tempi was on the sluggish side but I disagree. These performances have a lot of weight to them and I think Luisi really gave Honegger's symphonies full justice. Next to Baudo, this cycle comes right to the top of the heap without a doubt in my mind. Dutoit and Plasson are so unsympathetic and completely out of their element with this music that I couldn't ever give them high marks or even consider listening to those two cycles again (probably will end up selling them or donating them to my local library). Baudo and Luisi are definitely keepers and I don't see any other conductor really giving these the kind of attention and full throttled drive this music needs. There have been, however, so many great individual performances as you know, but we won't launch into those as we both know what performances those are. :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 26, 2013, 06:48:59 PM
Think of Luisi's performances as the 'Celibidache' of Honegger symphony cycles. :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 27, 2013, 12:03:02 AM
Think of Luisi's performances as the 'Celibidache' of Honegger symphony cycles. :)

A good analogy John. Pastorale d'ete is also given a beautifully poetic and eloquent performance under Luisi.

Do you know Honegger's film music for the animated film 'L'Idee' - an extraordinary score of c 25 minutes with much use of the ondes martenot? I really like the music for L'Idee (a kind of animated parable) and the end section is especially touching. It's on the Naxos compilation of Honegger's film music.

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 27, 2013, 05:00:50 AM
Oh yes, Jeffrey. I own that Naxos recording and gained much pleasure from it. Excellent music.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on July 27, 2013, 06:32:45 AM
Snyprrr...I'm impressed. That was possibly your most sane post ever  ;)  And moving too...seriously moving.

Sarge

aw shucks sarge :-[ :-*


No one ever mentions Symphony No.1. It's not the most available thing ever. Munch on Montaigne seemed like the way to go, but,... anyone?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: kyjo on August 27, 2013, 04:11:22 PM
While I'm in a Honegger frame of mind (a pretty darn good one to be in :D), what do members think of this recording, which consists of Honegger's "lighter" works?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Rvw16wduL._SY300_.jpg)

It's received many favorable reviews.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 27, 2013, 04:14:40 PM
While I'm in a Honegger frame of mind (a pretty darn good one to be in :D), what do members think of this recording, which consists of Honegger's "lighter" works?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Rvw16wduL._SY300_.jpg)

It's received many favorable reviews.

Certainly a nice recording, Kyle. Everything is well-played and it makes me wonder why Jurowski hasn't committed to a full symphony cycle. :-\ Worth owning IMHO.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: kyjo on August 27, 2013, 04:17:39 PM
Certainly a nice recording, Kyle. Everything is well-played and it makes me wonder why Jurowski hasn't committed to a full symphony cycle. :-\ Worth owning IMHO.

Thanks, John. Yeah, I wish Jurowski would record more Honegger. Same with Jarvi. I'm really surprised he didn't venture beyond Symphonies 3 and 5, considering how adventurous of a conductor he is and how natural he is in this kind of repertoire. :-\
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 27, 2013, 04:19:28 PM
Thanks, John. Yeah, I wish Jurowski would record more Honegger. Same with Jarvi. I'm really surprised he didn't venture beyond Symphonies 3 and 5, considering how adventurous of a conductor he is. :-\

Yes! Jarvi's single Honegger recording on Chandos w/ the Danish National RSO is still a favorite of mine. Such smoldering performances.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on August 27, 2013, 09:40:55 PM
While I'm in a Honegger frame of mind (a pretty darn good one to be in :D), what do members think of this recording, which consists of Honegger's "lighter" works?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Rvw16wduL._SY300_.jpg)

It's received many favorable reviews.

Very nice CD and compilation. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to Jurowski when invited to attend a rehearsal for Miaskovsky's 6th Symphony. He was extremely welcoming and friendly.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Brewski on January 23, 2014, 10:09:08 AM
Yesterday the New York Philharmonic announced its 2014-2015 season, and the grand finale will be a staged version of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake starring Marion Cotillard, with Alan Gilbert conducting.

More info here:

http://nyphil.org/ConcertsTickets/season/1415-season-highlights

--Bruce
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 23, 2014, 12:26:26 PM
Yesterday the New York Philharmonic announced its 2014-2015 season, and the grand finale will be a staged version of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake starring Marion Cotillard, with Alan Gilbert conducting.

More info here:

http://nyphil.org/ConcertsTickets/season/1415-season-highlights

--Bruce

Very exciting Bruce. It is his best oratorio I think and very moving at the end.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Brewski on January 23, 2014, 12:29:17 PM
Very exciting Bruce. It is his best oratorio I think and very moving at the end.

I don't know it at all, so very much looking forward. (As usual, may just wait until then for the first hearing, but on the other hand...) I see there are a number of recordings - more than I would have imagined. Do you have a favorite?

--Bruce
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: ritter on January 23, 2014, 12:34:22 PM
Yesterday the New York Philharmonic announced its 2014-2015 season, and the grand finale will be a staged version of Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake starring Marion Cotillard, with Alan Gilbert conducting.

More info here:

http://nyphil.org/ConcertsTickets/season/1415-season-highlights

--Bruce

The chance to see Jeanne d'Arc fully stgaed seems very appealing (NYC, alas, is a bit far from Madrid)...

Miss Cotillard performed the role of Saint Joan, very affectingly, in Barcelona (concert version) at the end of 2012. Snippets are available on YouTube...

Here the Cathérine et Marguerite scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4T3jO1WMmM
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 23, 2014, 12:38:35 PM
I don't know it at all, so very much looking forward. (As usual, may just wait until then for the first hearing, but on the other hand...) I see there are a number of recordings - more than I would have imagined. Do you have a favorite?

--Bruce

I especially like the one on Supraphon, but maybe this is how I got to know this fine work on LP. Will post a picture if I can find one.

Here it is:


It is coupled with the very moving valedictory 'Christmas Cantata', Honegger's last work.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Brewski on January 23, 2014, 12:42:10 PM
Ah, perhaps this one?



--Bruce
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 23, 2014, 12:42:50 PM
Ah, perhaps this one?



--Bruce

Yes, that's it. See above.
Jeffrey
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: ritter on February 10, 2014, 12:38:48 AM
Since there's been some talk of Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (a personal favorite of mine) recently, I link the review of the recent Helmuth Rilling recording of the work on Hänssler, published today in www.musicweb-international.com. In general, I agree with John Quinn's assessment, even if I do not share his enthusiasm for the Baudo version on Supraphon.



http://musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/Feb14/Honegger_Jeanne_CD98636.htm

Regards,

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: not edward on February 10, 2014, 03:57:19 PM
Yes, that's it. See above.
Jeffrey
Ooh, very very tempting. Baudo's always good in this sort of rep, and his complete symphony set is excellent.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: 71 dB on January 22, 2015, 04:57:01 AM
I had not heard anything by Honegger (not a very popular composer in Finland I think...). I had no clue what to expect when I start listening to a Naxos dics of his orchestral music on Spotify yesterday. I was pleased with what I heard. No atonal chaos. Instead, Honegger is kind of a post war Mendelssohn. It seems Honegger is worth exploring. I did listen to some works mentioned here on Spotify (Concerto for Piano and Orchestra etc.).

I also listened to the first 15 minutes of Morton Feldman's String Quartet, but he is not my cup of tea. Even slower music than Mompou!  ;D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 22, 2015, 05:00:47 AM
No atonal chaos.

You say that like it's a bad thing . . . .
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 22, 2015, 05:01:16 AM
I also listened to the first 15 minutes of Morton Feldman's String Quartet, but he is not my cup of tea. Even slower music than Mompou!  ;D

You say that like it's a bad thing . . . .
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: 71 dB on January 22, 2015, 05:08:30 AM
You say that like it's a bad thing . . . .

It usually is to my ears because I feel composers often compose atonal chaos for the sake of it being atonal chaos in order to have the admiration of atonal chaos bandwagoners.

You say that like it's a bad thing . . . .

It usually is to my ears.  ;) 
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 22, 2015, 05:21:42 AM
It usually is to my ears because I feel composers often compose atonal chaos for the sake of it being atonal chaos in order to have the admiration of atonal chaos bandwagoners.

You see the fallacy of supposing bad faith?  :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 22, 2015, 05:28:48 AM
I had not heard anything by Honegger (not a very popular composer in Finland I think...). I had no clue what to expect when I start listening to a Naxos dics of his orchestral music on Spotify yesterday. I was pleased with what I heard. No atonal chaos. Instead, Honegger is kind of a post war Mendelssohn. It seems Honegger is worth exploring. I did listen to some works mentioned here on Spotify (Concerto for Piano and Orchestra etc.).

I also listened to the first 15 minutes of Morton Feldman's String Quartet, but he is not my cup of tea. Even slower music than Mompou!  ;D

I'm not sure that Honegger is a very popular composer anywhere but I really like his music. There is a fine Decca set of Ansermet recordings, including IMHO the best ever version of Symphony 4 'Delights of Basel':


And I see that there is a new CD featuring a live 1957 recording of the 'Symphonie Liturgique' from the Salzburg Festival under Herbert Von Karajan:

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on January 22, 2015, 05:59:48 AM
It usually is to my ears because I feel composers often compose atonal chaos for the sake of it being atonal chaos in order to have the admiration of atonal chaos bandwagoners.

How is that different from composers who compose tonal non-chaos for the sake of it being tonal non-chaos in order to have to admiration of tonal non-chaos bandwagoners?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 22, 2015, 06:02:28 AM
COUGH COUGH lowell liebermann COUGH COUGH
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 22, 2015, 07:23:20 AM
I had not heard anything by Honegger (not a very popular composer in Finland I think...). I had no clue what to expect when I start listening to a Naxos dics of his orchestral music on Spotify yesterday. I was pleased with what I heard. No atonal chaos. Instead, Honegger is kind of a post war Mendelssohn. It seems Honegger is worth exploring. I did listen to some works mentioned here on Spotify (Concerto for Piano and Orchestra etc.).

Just listen to Symphony No. 3 'Symphonie Liturgique' under HvK/Berliners on DG. This is quite possibly my favorite Honegger work.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on January 22, 2015, 08:38:43 AM
Just listen to Symphony No. 3 'Symphonie Liturgique' under HvK/Berliners on DG. This is quite possibly my favorite Honegger work.

Come now- No.4 is the place any newbie should start, no? Munch version, please!

No.5- Markevich

2-3- Karajan

1- Munch again???


I really wish someone would record an album of his smaller orchestral works that have only a spotty rec. history--- 'Largo', 'Nocturne', etc.,...
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: 71 dB on January 22, 2015, 09:56:51 AM
Thanks for everyone for the recommendations. However, as I have explaned many times here, I make my unique choices.  0:)

How is that different from composers who compose tonal non-chaos for the sake of it being tonal non-chaos in order to have to admiration of tonal non-chaos bandwagoners?

I don't think there is such thing as tonal non-chaos bandwagoners!  ;D

The way I see it after exposing my ears to some music by Honegger is he had a boldly personal and tonal (I read he did not oppose German romanticism that much) style.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 22, 2015, 10:09:26 AM
I don't think there is such thing as tonal non-chaos bandwagoners!  ;D

COUGH COUGH lowell liebermann COUGH COUGH
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 22, 2015, 11:43:58 AM
Come now- No.4 is the place any newbie should start, no? Munch version, please!

No.5- Markevich

2-3- Karajan

1- Munch again???


I really wish someone would record an album of his smaller orchestral works that have only a spotty rec. history--- 'Largo', 'Nocturne', etc.,...

I very much agree with your choices although I hardly know Symphony 1. I like the Jarvi Chandos CD of symphonies 3 and 5 - a great coupling:

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 22, 2015, 11:46:11 AM
Just listen to Symphony No. 3 'Symphonie Liturgique' under HvK/Berliners on DG. This is quite possibly my favorite Honegger work.
Mine too.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on January 22, 2015, 12:07:52 PM
Ah, perhaps this one?



--Bruce

I used to have that recording back in the good old days!  Serge Baudo and the Czechs recorded some great stuff back then!

There was also a great London recording of the Christmas Cantata with Ernest Ansermet conducting:

(http://cdn.discogs.com/81SGvVFH1QEY0IFOlOfjZyS--xE=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb()/discogs-images/R-5046911-1383056128-6862.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 22, 2015, 12:22:44 PM
I used to have that recording back in the good old days!  Serge Baudo and the Czechs recorded some great stuff back then!

There was also a great London recording of the Christmas Cantata with Ernest Ansermet conducting:

(http://cdn.discogs.com/81SGvVFH1QEY0IFOlOfjZyS--xE=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb()/discogs-images/R-5046911-1383056128-6862.jpeg.jpg)

Both great performances. I find that work very moving. Honegger was dying when he wrote it. The LP you show Leo is featured in the Decca Ansermet set mentioned above.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on January 24, 2015, 04:04:45 PM
Both great performances. I find that work very moving. Honegger was dying when he wrote it. The LP you show Leo is featured in the Decca Ansermet set mentioned above.

Many thanks for the information.  And while we are promoting works by Honegger, let us not forget (and again I show an LP from the past):

(http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/eooAAOxy3zNSmF2A/$_35.JPG)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 24, 2015, 11:52:29 PM
Many thanks for the information.  And while we are promoting works by Honegger, let us not forget (and again I show an LP from the past):

(http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/eooAAOxy3zNSmF2A/$_35.JPG)

That fine performance is also in the excellent Decca box set. The set also includes its original LP double set companion Frank Martin's 'In Terra Pax' my favourite of his works.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on January 25, 2015, 05:03:49 AM
That fine performance is also in the excellent Decca box set. The set also includes its original LP double set companion Frank Martin's 'In Terra Pax' my favourite of his works.

Okay, so it looks  like I will need to check my bank account's status with, as Leo McKern would say in code, SWMBO!     ;)   0:)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: ritter on January 25, 2015, 05:28:19 AM
Okay, so it looks  like I will need to check my bank account's status with, as Leo McKern would say in code, SWMBO!     ;)   0:)
  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Not Rumpole, but apparently a movie based on the novel where the SWMBO phrase was coined  ;)...

https://www.youtube.com/v/bS5YmETSVCI

Thread duty:

I might have mentioned this before, but I think this DVD of Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher is highly recommendable. Sylvie Testud is outstanding in the title role:


Much, much cheaper in Europe, beware...

https://www.youtube.com/v/1cOBqPCtgkg

Conductor Alain Altinoglu will conduct Lohengrin in Bayreuth this summer, taking the controversial but ultimately successful Neuenfels production over from Andris Nelsons in what I think will be its final run...
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: pjme on January 25, 2015, 01:08:08 PM
On You Tube : Marion Cotillard as an excellent Jeanne!

http://www.youtube.com/v/W4T3jO1WMmM
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 26, 2015, 12:05:02 PM
Okay, so it looks  like I will need to check my bank account's status with, as Leo McKern would say in code, SWMBO!     ;)   0:)

Yes, you have to buy the Ansermet/Decca CD Honegger set.  >:D >:D >:D
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on February 03, 2015, 01:22:28 PM
This is a wonderful CD, probably the best Honegger in my collection. It features the premiere recording of 'Une Cantate de Noël' recorded in 1954 (it was composed in 1953). It starts in a profound darkness, movingly realised in this recording, but ends, as appropriate for a Christmas work, in light. I have never been so moved by the work before. Honegger was very ill when he wrote it in hospital and it was his last work.  Although I am not a great admirer of Herbert Von Karajan I have always thought that his DGG recording of Honegger's 'Liturgique' Symphony was the best ever, especially for the hauntingly atmospheric birdsong ending. This live recording from 1957 is just as good in a different way, not as polished as the studio version but even more powerful and moving, especially the opening of the last movement, 'Dona Nobis Pacem'. The Liturgique has always reminded me of the contemporaneous 6th Symphony of Vaughan Williams and the violin passage in the coda takes you back to the world of The Lark Ascending:


The booklet notes are only in French.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: GioCar on September 10, 2016, 06:20:11 AM
Miss Cotillard performed the role of Saint Joan, very affectingly, in Barcelona (concert version) at the end of 2012. Snippets are available on YouTube...

Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher is a masterpiece, and now that concert is on a DVD (and a CD) by Alpha

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/856/MI0003856827.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51tHMgnKwjL.jpg)

I strongly recommend the DVD, if anything for the great performance of Marion Cotillard



Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: ritter on September 10, 2016, 06:39:50 AM
I decided to go for the CD, but yes, you are right, Miss Cotillard's performnace is worth seeing as well.

But I cannot recomend this staged performance enough:


Sylvie Testud's portrayal of the title rôle is extraordinary.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on September 10, 2016, 06:50:42 AM
Honegger is one of the most underrated of composers.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: ritter on September 10, 2016, 07:15:02 AM
Just discovered on YouTube this rather moving performance of Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher, from the Église de la Trinité in Paris in 2005, staged and conducted by Jean-Pierre Loré, with Céline Liger in the title rôle:

https://www.youtube.com/v/f2PPjSeMA2Y

I'm looking forward to a fully staged production expected here in Madrid at the Teatro Real in the 2017-18 season.  :)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: jlaurson on September 10, 2016, 07:25:41 AM
just checking in at this thread. love me some honegger.
and for all that professed love, I should really compare the symphony cycles I have of his.
i had to write about honegger, recently, and re-noticed just how much of a masterpiece his third symphony is.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Heck148 on September 10, 2016, 08:00:33 AM
My favorite Honegger works are 

Sym #3 - "Liturgique", and
Pacific 231

I have a recording of Mravinsky/LeningradPO on the Sym #3....wow!! really intense, white-hot level, the "Stupid March" of mvt 3 is played with such crass, biting brutality, the stunning contrast of the peaceful, hopeful final section is most telling. This is Mravinsky/Leningrad at their best, from live performance 2/65, coupled with rousing Hindemith Symphony [#5] "Harmonie der Welt" [Melodiya]
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on September 10, 2016, 09:34:01 AM
just checking in at this thread. love me some honegger.
and for all that professed love, I should really compare the symphony cycles I have of his.
i had to write about honegger, recently, and re-noticed just how much of a masterpiece his third symphony is.
Interesting and convincing analysis of the 'Liturgique'. Karajan's is the greatest performance although I'm not usually a fan of Karajan. It also reminds me of Symphony 6 by Vaughan Williams, a contemporaneous score, although the birdsong ending of the Honegger is more optimistic.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Scion7 on September 10, 2016, 04:13:43 PM
Love his instrumental stuff - he and Milhaud were the best of the modern, post-Ravel folks.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on September 11, 2016, 05:09:09 PM
Symphony 4, Erato- MOST BEAUTIFUL
Symphony 5, Markevitch- the desolation of WWII in music and triumph

Symphonies 2-3. karajan

Symphony 1, munch...DSCH????


Concertino for Piano: I like Thibaudet, some don't

Cello Concerto, Slava, Webber

String Quartets, Erato Quartet

Double Concerto- MY FAVORITE SLOW MOVEMENT Holliger/Aurelot


Erato 2CD set of Orchestral Works and Le Roi david

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: nathanb on September 12, 2016, 08:25:18 AM
Anyone heard this disc?



I like Honegger for what he is, but he's not exactly my primary style right now... I'm interested moreso because I'm currently in that "completionist mode" with Mode records. Past the 90% point on my iPod, ya know?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: jlaurson on September 12, 2016, 08:36:41 AM
Anyone heard this disc?

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61l1bWMOUPL._SS500.jpg)
Christophe Colomb by A. Honegger  (http://amzn.to/2cRtQme)
I like Honegger for what he is, but he's not exactly my primary style right now... I'm interested moreso because I'm currently in that "completionist mode" with Mode records. Past the 90% point on my iPod, ya know?
Fixed link/image. But, no, I haven't.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on September 12, 2016, 02:20:18 PM
Anyone heard this disc?



I like Honegger for what he is, but he's not exactly my primary style right now... I'm interested moreso because I'm currently in that "completionist mode" with Mode records. Past the 90% point on my iPod, ya know?
\\
Yea, I don't know how necessary that would be... JUST SAY NO!!!!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on September 12, 2016, 03:38:23 PM
It looks like I will be cranking this up tomorrow!

https://www.youtube.com/v/88aPXb6UphA
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on September 13, 2016, 05:46:48 AM
It looks like I will be cranking this up tomorrow!

https://www.youtube.com/v/88aPXb6UphA

Okay, so far I have endured c. 7 minutes of this.  The music - when I can concentrate on it - dovetails very nicely with the text, but...the spoken text is practically continuous, and the actor usually drowns out the music, or the music drowns him out, at which point he starts shouting.

Schoenberg's A Survivor From Warsaw has a similar conception, but for some reason it works better than the opening as performed here. 

I will keep listening: maybe the balance between actor(s) and the music becomes better.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: jlaurson on September 13, 2016, 06:13:20 AM

I will keep listening: maybe the balance between actor(s) and the music becomes better.

Oh gawd. I managed a little further, but the heckler-lady, in broad student-theater American, gave me the rest.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on September 13, 2016, 07:04:36 AM
Oh gawd. I managed a little further, but the heckler-lady, in broad student-theater American, gave me the rest.

Yes!  I have stuck with it off and on this morning, and the opening is not representative of the rest, which does have the play unaccompanied, with the music becoming more cantata-ish and more of a bridge between scenes.

Perhaps a suite without the play - or at least this performance! - would improve things! 
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: snyprrr on September 13, 2016, 08:26:19 AM
Okay, so far I have endured c. 7 minutes of this.  The music - when I can concentrate on it - dovetails very nicely with the text, but...the spoken text is practically continuous, and the actor usually drowns out the music, or the music drowns him out, at which point he starts shouting.

Schoenberg's A Survivor From Warsaw has a similar conception, but for some reason it works better than the opening as performed here. 

I will keep listening: maybe the balance between actor(s) and the music becomes better.

I made one minute!!!!! :o :o :o :o :o

"theater speak", lol, so bad... I think it comes from saying the word "fabulous" too many times.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: nathanb on September 13, 2016, 09:12:39 AM
I listened to about 10 minutes of it before hopping in the shower this morning, and I found it significantly more interesting than a lot of Honegger I know.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on September 13, 2016, 09:42:44 AM
I listened to about 10 minutes of it before hopping in the shower this morning, and I found it significantly more interesting than a lot of Honegger I know.

Yes, as I mentioned above, the music underscores the play quite well, once things get going.

I made one minute!!!!! :o :o :o :o :o

"theater speak", lol, so bad... I think it comes from saying the word "fabulous" too many times.

 ;)  Fast forward to the sections where one can hear the music alone!
Title: Oh, Honegger, Save Me from Stravinsky!
Post by: snyprrr on June 16, 2017, 08:43:34 PM
Concertino

I just love Hongger's 'Concertino', for Piano and Orchestra, ten minutes of pure charm and wit. It has the effect of a mini-drama, with the piano running through different "scenes". This would be solidly in the 'Neo-Classical' camp, and I can't tell if Honegger is Composing, or Quoting, but the overall effect is of a jaunty car ride along the coast, perhaps, with a dinner and dancing scene. It's all quite delightful.

I prefer the Thibaudet/Dutoit simply for the finesse. Some have said it lack the "thing", but I've found other versions a bit more aggressive: this needs to be played as charmingly as it is on the Decca, which also comes with Francaix's equally charming but not quite as memorable 'Concertino', and the two Ravel Concertos.

Honegger's Cello Concerto, too, in as pastoral wonder of fields and sunny days. And then, finally, the flute/oboe 'Concerto de Camera', whose slow movement is one of my all time favorite. Maybe it's time?
Title: Re: Oh, Honegger, Save Me from Stravinsky!
Post by: Robert101 on June 19, 2017, 07:36:40 AM
Concertino

I just love Hongger's 'Concertino', for Piano and Orchestra, ten minutes of pure charm and wit. It has the effect of a mini-drama, with the piano running through different "scenes". This would be solidly in the 'Neo-Classical' camp, and I can't tell if Honegger is Composing, or Quoting, but the overall effect is of a jaunty car ride along the coast, perhaps, with a dinner and dancing scene. It's all quite delightful.

I prefer the Thibaudet/Dutoit simply for the finesse. Some have said it lack the "thing", but I've found other versions a bit more aggressive: this needs to be played as charmingly as it is on the Decca, which also comes with Francaix's equally charming but not quite as memorable 'Concertino', and the two Ravel Concertos.

Honegger's Cello Concerto, too, in as pastoral wonder of fields and sunny days. And then, finally, the flute/oboe 'Concerto de Camera', whose slow movement is one of my all time favorite. Maybe it's time?

I heard this live years ago and loved it. I enjoy his lighter works quite a bit. Also the rest ::).
Title: Re: Oh, Honegger, Save Me from Stravinsky!
Post by: snyprrr on June 19, 2017, 05:14:09 PM
I heard this live years ago and loved it. I enjoy his lighter works quite a bit. Also the rest ::).

A lot of his minor works are as yet unrecorded. A whole album of selected 'Rare Works' would be welcome. I'd love to hear the 'Largo', or the 'Blues', or some of the other ultra rare pieces.

Almost took Symphony 5 with me today (Markevitch of course!).
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on September 30, 2017, 11:50:42 AM
Since Kyle and myself have been discussing Honegger on the Frank Bridge thread I thought I'd revive Arthur's own thread. I've just bought a very cheap second hand copy of Honegger's Cello Concerto with Julian Lloyd Weber playing. It's a charming work which I think I only heard on LP before.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: kyjo on September 30, 2017, 12:03:55 PM
Since Kyle and myself have been discussing Honegger on the Frank Bridge thread I thought I'd revive Arthur's own thread. I've just bought a very cheap second hand copy of Honegger's Cello Concerto with Julian Lloyd Weber playing. It's a charming work which I think I only heard on LP before.

Great piece! The opening is one of the most serenely beautiful passages of music I know - the chord progression reminds me of the moving Epilogue that closes Bax's Third Symphony, interestingly enough.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on September 30, 2017, 01:12:19 PM
Great piece! The opening is one of the most serenely beautiful passages of music I know - the chord progression reminds me of the moving Epilogue that closes Bax's Third Symphony, interestingly enough.
I enjoy your comparative discussions Kyle! Bax's 3rd Symphony is another great favourite of mine so I'll look forward to making the Honegger Cello Concerto comparison. The other work which reminds me of Honegger's Third Symphony is Vaughan Williams's Symphony 6 although the extraordinary 'Epilogue' seems more nihilistic rather than redemptive to me. Having said that I think that Neville Marriner's recording invests the Epilogue with a warmth and compassion which I don't associate with other recordings.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on March 07, 2018, 04:39:11 AM
This is a stupendous recorded performance of Honegger's 'Litugique' Symphony (Dresden Philharmonic, Johannes Winkler, 1983). Possibly the greatest performance I have heard with a most beautifully lyrical and poetic closing Epilogue - there were moments which incongruously reminded me of 'A Pastoral Symphony' by Vaughan Williams. Up until now Karajan's DGG recording was in a class of its own far as I was concerned but this a valid alternative view of the work and I have rarely been as excited by a new recording of a work with which I am very familiar. It is unusually coupled with Nielsen's 5th Symphony. The performance of that (Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Gunter Herbig, 1966) is also very fine. By the way the CD I bought has a different cover (Eterna label) and was much cheaper than the current price on Amazon:

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 07, 2018, 06:27:35 AM
Better than HvK/Berliners, Jeffrey? Wow....it must be good.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on March 07, 2018, 06:43:04 AM
This is a stupendous recorded performance of Honegger's 'Litugique' Symphony (Dresden Philharmonic, Johannes Winkler, 1983). Possibly the greatest performance I have heard with a most beautifully lyrical and poetic closing Epilogue - there were moments which incongruously reminded me of 'A Pastoral Symphony' by Vaughan Williams. Up until now Karajan's DGG recording was in a class of its own far as I was concerned but this a valid alternative view of the work and I have rarely been as excited by a new recording of a work with which I am very familiar.

For those who can read German:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Winkler_(Dirigent) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Winkler_(Dirigent))

It says that Winkler was born in East Germany in 1950, and died in a "tragic traffic accident" at age 39 in 1989.  I have never heard of him before, so, many thanks to Vandermolen!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on March 07, 2018, 07:19:47 AM
Better than HvK/Berliners, Jeffrey? Wow....it must be good.
I'm not sure about 'better' John but more lyrical in the last movement. I wouldn't be without the HvK version but this is just as fine in a different way I think.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on March 07, 2018, 07:21:22 AM
For those who can read German:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Winkler_(Dirigent) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Winkler_(Dirigent))

It says that Winkler was born in East Germany in 1950, and died in a "tragic traffic accident" at age 39 in 1989.  I have never heard of him before, so, many thanks to Vandermolen!
Oh, thank you Leo - that is very sad I must say. On the basis of the Honegger he was a very fine conductor. I hadn't heard of him before this either.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 07, 2018, 07:23:23 AM
I'm not sure about 'better' John but more lyrical in the last movement. I wouldn't be without the HvK version but this is just as fine in a different way I think.

Excellent, Jeffrey. 8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Maestro267 on November 26, 2018, 08:23:31 AM
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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Maestro267 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?
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen 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:

(http://)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41BB-q885JL.jpg)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on April 16, 2019, 12:23:23 PM
The first CD edition I had of that recording did not have Karajan's picture.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41BB-q885JL.jpg)
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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: aukhawk 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,
(http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3180.0;attach=58121;image)

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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 22, 2019, 04:45:46 PM
(https://d27t0qkxhe4r68.cloudfront.net/t_900/730099464925.jpg?1401982557)

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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on July 22, 2019, 11:42:52 PM
(https://d27t0qkxhe4r68.cloudfront.net/t_900/730099464925.jpg?1401982557)

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':
(http://)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen 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:
(http://)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Symphonic Addict 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.  :(
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen 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'
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on June 26, 2020, 08:27:30 AM
Excellent John. I'll be interested to hear your views.

Will do, Jeffrey. 8)
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: aukhawk on June 26, 2020, 11:24:00 PM
My mini-review of that Venzago recording fell into the black hole.   ???

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61tbmKabP8L._AC_.jpg)

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).
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on November 10, 2020, 11:19:05 AM
From WAYLTN thread:
This is one of the most profoundly moving performances I have heard of Honegger's 'Liturgique' Symphony (1955 recording). The first movement is taken very fast with a relentless momentum. I'm not sure that I have ever been so moved by the slow second movement as on this recording. I'm delighted to have this recording and the Chausson Symphony on the same disc makes it even more special. As with Vaughan Williams's contemporaneous and spiritually not dissimilar (IMO) 6th Symphony any performance stands or falls by the performance of the closing pages. There is a tremendous rhythmic urgency about Denzler's performance and the closing bird-song ending is the best I have heard since Karajan and just as, if not more, moving; above all you can hear the background strings much more clearly than in many more modern recordings, creating a poetic, eerie and magical atmosphere. It interests me that two of the greatest interpreters (Denzler and Karajan) on Honegger's meditation on the barbarity of war and the nature of suffering were former Nazis. My only complaint is that Honegger's perky and upbeat 'Chant de Joie' comes on much too quickly after the symphony; it would have been better placed before the Symphonie Liturgique:
(http://)



"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).
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Herman on November 11, 2020, 02:47:47 AM
I would love to be at a recital with a good string quartet performing Honegger's SQ nr 3.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on November 11, 2020, 02:55:00 AM
I would love to be at a recital with a good string quartet performing Honegger's SQ nr 3.

Don't know it - must track it down!
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Roasted Swan on January 14, 2021, 12:37:22 AM
I was trying to track down some comparative versions of the 3 Movements Symphonique.  I was quite surprised how rare as a coupling it is to find them together on a single disc but it makes good and interesting sense.  I picked up this disc quite cheaply;

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Aug04/Honegger3_8555974.gif)

which I had completely missed - somehow the combination of artists and label didn't particularly entice.  My loss and mistake - this is really excellent in every regard and the performance of the Liturgique is thrilling and compelling too - played with real commitment and virtuosity and very well recorded.  Definitely a disc Honegger admirers should hear....
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: vandermolen on January 14, 2021, 08:27:12 AM
I was trying to track down some comparative versions of the 3 Movements Symphonique.  I was quite surprised how rare as a coupling it is to find them together on a single disc but it makes good and interesting sense.  I picked up this disc quite cheaply;

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Aug04/Honegger3_8555974.gif)

which I had completely missed - somehow the combination of artists and label didn't particularly entice.  My loss and mistake - this is really excellent in every regard and the performance of the Liturgique is thrilling and compelling too - played with real commitment and virtuosity and very well recorded.  Definitely a disc Honegger admirers should hear....
Yes, I agree. That's a fine disc with a great combination of works and a thrilling performance of the 'Liturgique' from the NZSO.
Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Cato on February 06, 2021, 07:05:44 AM
I thought I had mentioned this wonderful composition on an earlier page, but cannot find it right it now:


https://www.youtube.com/v/Wsz_UZGnMG4



For the String Quartet #3:

https://www.youtube.com/v/jpT_I8tjxbQ

Title: Re: Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 06, 2021, 07:07:18 AM
I thought I had mentioned this wonderful composition on an earlier page, but cannot find it right it now:


https://www.youtube.com/v/Wsz_UZGnMG4



For the String Quartet #3:

https://www.youtube.com/v/jpT_I8tjxbQ

Two great works, Cato. I quite like Honegger’s SQs (the 2nd SQ probably being my favorite of the three).