Arthur Honegger

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Honegger, Arthur

(hŭn`ēgər, Fr. ärtür ônāgĕr`), 1892–1955, Swiss-French composer, studied at the conservatories of Zürich and Paris. One of the group of Parisian composers called Les SixSix, Les
, a short-lived group of six young early 20th-century French musicians. They were united by their adverse reactions to the extravagant impressionism of French composers such as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel and the overwrought romanticism of Germans such as Richard
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, he wrote music ranging from satire to intensely religious works that are marked by incisive rhythms and sharp dissonances, often the result of his use of polytonality. Besides Pacific 231 (1923)—the first of three mouvements symphoniques—his outstanding works are of a theatrical nature, such as ballets, the operas Judith (1926) and Antigone (1927, libretto by Jean CocteauCocteau, Jean
, 1889–1963, French writer, visual artist, and filmmaker. He experimented audaciously in almost every artistic medium, becoming a leader of the French avant-garde in the 1920s.
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), music for films, including Mayerling (1935), and the stage oratorio King David (1921). He also set texts of Paul ClaudelClaudel, Paul
, 1868–1955, French dramatist, poet, and diplomat. He was ambassador to Tokyo (1921–27), Washington, D.C. (1927–33), and Brussels (1933–35).
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 to music.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Honegger, Arthur


Born Mar. 10, 1892, in Le Havre; died Nov. 27, 1955, in Paris. French composer and music figure. Of Swiss parentage. Member of the Institut de France (1953).

Honegger studied under A. Gedalge, C. M. Widor, and V. d’Indy. In the 1920’s he was a member of the group known as Les Six. He was influenced by I. Stravinsky, E. Satie, and J. Cocteau, all of whom opposed impressionism and expressionism. As far back as the mid-1920’s, however, Honegger followed an independent course. In the 1930’s he was an active figure in the National Music Federation. He composed music for outdoor presentations of plays, including The Fourteenth of July (1936, Paris) and Liberty (1937), and wrote popular songs and marches. In 1928, Honegger visited the USSR, where he gave concerts in which he conducted his own works.

Honegger’s work combines, in an original fashion, the traditions of French and Swiss folk and professional music with the best of 20th-century music. His works are distinguished by their humanism and progressive, antifascist tendencies. He contributed much to the development of the oratorio. In his oratorios, elements of neoclassicism and romanticism are refracted through the prism of his artistic individuality. Of these works, the most notable are the dramatic oratorio King David (1921, 3rd ed., 1924), the oratorio Cries of the World (1931), the dramatic oratorio Joan of Arc at the Stake (1935), the cantata Song of Liberation (1942), and the Christmas Cantata (1953). Honegger wrote five symphonies (1930–50) and other orchestral works, including Pacific 231 (1923) and Monopartite (1951). He also wrote ballets, operettas, romances, songs, piano pieces, and music for the theater, radio, and screen.


Incantation aux fossiles. Lausanne, 1948.
In Russian translation:
Ia—kompozitor. Leningrad, 1963.


Rappoport, L. Artur Onegger. Leningrad, 1967.
Rappoport, L. “Nekotorye osobennosti garmonii A. Oneggera.” In the
collection Problemy lada. Moscow, 1972. Shneerson, G. Frantsuzskaia muzyka XX veka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970. Pavchinskii, S. Simfonicheskoe tvorchestvo A. Oneggera. Moscow, 1972. Gérard, C. A. Honegger. Brussels, 1945. Guibert, J. A. Honegger. Paris [1959].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Chapter 2 continues to provide a more nuanced, ambivalent history by considering the conflicting evidence that postwar writers have used to evaluate Arthur Honegger's dubious wartime behavior.
In connection with the encroachment of Arthur Honegger's and Darius Milhaud's music, attention was also paid to the "spiritual father" of Les Six, Eric Satie.
Difficult though it is to credit, he "had traveled outside the Soviet Union, to Warsaw and Berlin, and had met a number of international musical luminaries, including Darius Milhaud, Alban Berg, and Arthur Honegger." Lesser convincingly asserts that he would have felt "complicatedly guilty"--a delicious phrase--"at how well he was being treated." The feeling seems never to have gone altogether.
In 1953, he was in the Canadian premiere of Arthur Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bucher in Montreal and made successful recital tours in Canada, Europe and North Africa.
There he met Arthur Honegger, who interested him in the cinema, and in due course he was commissioned to write the music for Korda's film, The Thief of Baghdad, in London.
31 Dec till Jan 19, 2004: Opera 2003-2004, Les Aventures du Roi Pausole" (Arthur Honegger)
This disc brings together some of Arthur Honegger's best-known orchestral works, and they receive one of the best recordings, sonically and interpretively, they have ever enjoyed.
Jean Borlin, the only choreographer of Rolf de Mare's Paris-based Ballets Suedois (which existed only between 1920 and 1925), created it in collaboration with Swiss composer Arthur Honegger and Parisian painter Fernand Leger--a spectacular team.
Many of these were primarily composers, like Aaron Copland, Arthur Honegger, and Darius Milhaud, who were active before the Second World War and whose relationship with Mahler remains to be more fully discussed.
Singer Siri Vik joins Peplowski on clarinet and Ted Rosenthal on piano for a program that includes works by Darius Milhaud, Frances Poulenc, Germaine Taileferre, George Auric, Arthur Honegger and Louis Durey.
But the composition I would really urge everyone to try is Une Cantate de Noel by the Swiss composer Arthur Honegger, written during the early 1950s as he was already dying from heart disease, and bursting with cries from the depths which are eventually comforted by angelic children's voices and a joyous amalgam of Christmas carols from a multi-rhythmic choir and orchestra.
As a result, not just the music of Bohuslav Martinu, but also that of his most important contemporaries such as Albert Roussel, Arthur Honegger, Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud and others virtually vanished from concert podiums and have returned only since the end of the 20th century.