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Your Discovery of the Year

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Author Topic: Your Discovery of the Year  (Read 20331 times)
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« Reply #195 on: December 31, 2018, 04:57:57 pm »

Honegger was one of the finest 20th century composers but-it seems to me-is still under-rated and, particularly recently, appears to have rather dropped off the radar. My impression is that his music is not performed often in the concert hall and that there have been fewer recordings of his music. It does not of course help that France does not have an equivalent of Dutton, Lyrita and Chandos in the UK, or CPO in Germany, or Dux in Poland or BIS in Sweden and does less than many other countries to disseminate its own music. Yes, I am aware of the Timpani record label but its output is rather limited (not a single disc of any music by Landowski, for example).

Kyle and Jim have referred to some of Honegger's symphonic and choral music. The symphonies are all in their different ways exceptionally fine works and the Christmas Cantata is a gorgeous piece of music. But there are so many shorter orchestral pieces I have heard which are also extremely impressive.

Honegger repays anyone who explores his music!

You are quite right about Honegger, Colin - his status in the music world is not as high as it should be - but then again the same could be said about many composers. If one of his works is performed in the US, it’s most likely to be ‘Pacific 231’, which IMHO isn’t one of his strongest works. I’d be very lucky to come across a performance of one of his other works. Concerning other fine Honegger works, I love his gorgeously lyrical and witty Cello Concerto, as well as the all-too-brief ‘Pastorale d’été’, which conveys the heat of a summer’s day better than any work I know.
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