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.
Symphony No 4 – Une cantate de Noël
(London Philharmonic Orchestra)