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By Harry Halbreich

Arthur Honegger (1892--1955), Swiss by way of nationality, French via schooling and place of dwelling, was once an important composer of the 20 th century. even if he earned well known acclaim early in his occupation, in his later years his regularly tonal musical language was once thought of superseded.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 method. HARDCOVER

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Arthur Honegger

Arthur Honegger (1892--1955), Swiss by means of nationality, French by way of schooling and place of abode, was once a huge composer of the twentieth century. even though he earned well known acclaim early in his occupation, in his later years his constantly tonal musical language used to be thought of outdated. His most vital works comprise 5 symphonies, a wide physique of chamber song, and several other large-scale oratorios that mix choral and instrumental writing with declaimed narrative in a uniquely powerful means.

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This choice of instrument was to be decisive for Honegger's character as a composer. Certainly, he was later to master the piano and was good enough to play occasionally in public. But he was never a keyboard virtuoso, and his musical thinking, melodic and contrapuntal rather than harmonic, remained that of a violinist, like that of another violinist-composer, Bohuslav Martinu*. Nevertheless, at the age of thirteen he began to learn harmony from the man he later considered to have been his earliest teacher: Robert-Charles Martin, the organist of the church of Saint-Michel.

The other two parts are Honegger's collected writings, the Écrits (edited by Huguette Calmel and published by Honoré Champion, Paris, 1992), and another of my books, LOeuvre * dArthur* Honegger, Chronologie, Catalogue raisonné, Analyse complète, Etude du langage et du style, Discographie critique (The Work of Arthur Honegger, Chronology, Detailed Catalog, Complete Analyses, Study of Language and Style, Critical Discography) (Honoré Champion, Paris, 1994). Clearly, my second book is more technical and specialized, and more at a university level, which also explains the absence of any biography.

So, as the saying goes, my life will be "a time of long patience" and I hope that you will have patience as well, that is to say, that you won't be discouraged if success seems to you to be long in coming. Learning to be a composer is a long and time-consuming business. Even so, I believe I shall be able to complete my studies (I'm thinking of my academic studies, naturally, since one goes on learning all one's life), that is to say, that I'll know my craft, and after I leave Gédalge I shan't need any other teachers except the study of the great masters of all the ages.

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