By Harry Halbreich
Arthur Honegger (1892--1955), Swiss via nationality, French by way of schooling and place of abode, was once a massive composer of the 20 th century. even if he earned well known acclaim early in his profession, in his later years his continuously tonal musical language used to be thought of outdated. His most important works comprise 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 powerful approach. HARDCOVER
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8 In Zurich, the seventeen-year-old found himself for the first time in a large city with a flourishing musical life. Whereas in Le Havre he had no opportunity of getting to know any modern French music (whose riches he would only discover when he went to Paris in 1911), Zurich was alive to the German music of the time. If the memory of Wagner was still strong (half a century earlier he had conceived Tristan and Isolde there in the villa belonging to his benefactor, Otto Wesendonck), that of Brahms was no doubt even more so, and more recent.
In 1911, the Agadir incident increased the tensions between France and Germany and caused them to accelerate their rearmament; the new Balkan states were disputing the remains of European Turkey, the sick man of Europe; the as-yet-unfinished Titanic was only a few months away from its destruction; and Europe less than three years away from hers. As in the years leading up to 1789, humanity, with the exception of a tiny handful of Cassandras, was engaged in a headlong pursuit of luxury and beauty, dancing madly on the slopes of the volcano.
Copyright © 1992 as Arthur Honegger: Un musicien dans la cité des hommes by Librairie Arthème Fayard, Paris Translation copyright © 1999 by Roger Nichols. All rights reserved. W. A. Pauly, general editor. cm. Translation of: Arthur Honegger, un musicien dans la cité des hommnes. Discography: p. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Title. 92dc21 [B] 98-14759 CIP MN Page 5 CONTENTS Dedication 7 Preface 9 Acknowledgments 11 Introduction 13 Part One: Chronicle of a Life 15 Chapter 1 Turly (18921910) 17 Chapter 2 The Paris Conservatory and Honegger's Earliest Works (19111918) 25 Chapter 3 Six or Swiss?