November 18, 2011 10:24 pm

Honegger: Symphony No 4 etc

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Paul Sacher, the Swiss music patron who died in 1999, often said his compatriot Arthur Honegger’s time would come. Maybe that time is now: this disc comes on top of Marin Alsop’s Joan of Arc project on both sides of the Atlantic. Honegger (1892-1955) never lacked champions – Karajan and Jansons recorded the Third Symphony – and here we have Jurowski and the LPO in music that shows a more seductive side than the dark depths of the wartime symphony and the Joan oratorio.

All three works on this unexpectedly satisfying CD communicate a joie de vivre without ever sounding lightweight. The jaunty Symphony No 4 is performed with the wit and subtlety it deserves, bringing out the song-like character of its three movements. Pastorale d’été is a dreamy orchestral summerscape, Une Cantate de Noël a radiant choral celebration of the human and the divine.

Honegger

Symphony No 4 – Une cantate de Noël

Vladimir Jurowski

(London Philharmonic Orchestra)

4 stars

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