By Harry Halbreich
Arthur Honegger (1892--1955), Swiss by way of nationality, French through schooling and place of dwelling, used to be a big composer of the 20 th century. even supposing he earned well known acclaim early in his occupation, in his later years his always tonal musical language used to be thought of superseded. His most vital works contain 5 symphonies, a wide physique of chamber track, and several other large-scale oratorios that mix choral and instrumental writing with declaimed narrative in a uniquely potent means. HARDCOVER
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Extra info for Arthur Honegger
Full of self-confidence, the boy wrote his own libretto, and when the score was finished he bound it himself. As he admitted, it was the binding that gave him the most trouble. " He found the story in La Jeunesse illustrée (an illustrated children's newspaper). The score (a vocal score because, of course, he had never seen a full orchestral one) fills the fifty pages of a bound school exercise book and contains no fewer than fourteen numbers, together with an overture and an introduction for each of the three acts.
In one of his autobiographical sketches, Honegger also notes that his family were Protestants and that there was talk at one time of making him a priest! But when the time came to go to school, he found himself in a quite different atmosphere from that of his family circle, and very soon he turned into as much of a Normandy lad as his classmates. Before he ever set foot in Paris, he was, therefore, marked by two quite different and complementary cultures (three, if we include the later romand, or French-Swiss, influence), and his art blended these into a uniquely original synthesis.
We find in Honegger's diary, on 14 January 1913, the note "supper with Enesco," and a friendship born of mutual admiration would always unite these two composers who died only a few months apart, even though Georges Enesco was eleven years older. The Paris Conservatory had been under the flexible but firm direction of Gabriel Fauré since 1905 and, thanks to a number of drastic steps that led to Fauré being nicknamed "Robespierre," it had been restored to a level worthy of its ancient reputation.
Arthur Honegger by Harry Halbreich