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Honegger: Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra and Trumpet; Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique" / Stravinsky: Concerto in D for String Orchestra

Arthur Honegger , Igor Stravinsky , Herbert von Karajan , Berliner Philharmoniker , Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra , Fritz Wesenigk Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $14.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1996 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1995 $14.25  

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Honegger: Symphony No.2 For Trumpet And Strings - 1. Molto moderato - allegroBerliner Philharmoniker10:56Album Only
listen  2. Honegger: Symphony No.2 For Trumpet And Strings - 2. Adagio mestoBerliner Philharmoniker 9:20Album Only
listen  3. Honegger: Symphony No.2 For Trumpet And Strings - 3. Vivace, non troppoBerliner Philharmoniker 4:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Honegger: Symphony No.3 - "Liturgique" - 1. "Dies Irae" - Allegro marcatoBerliner Philharmoniker 7:03Album Only
listen  5. Honegger: Symphony No.3 - "Liturgique" - 2. "De Profundis Clamavi" - AdagioBerliner Philharmoniker14:25Album Only
listen  6. Honegger: Symphony No.3 - "Liturgique" - 3. "Dona Nobis Pacem" - AndanteBerliner Philharmoniker11:45Album Only
listen  7. Stravinsky: Concerto In D For String Orchestra (1946) - 1. VivaceBerliner Philharmoniker 6:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Stravinsky: Concerto In D For String Orchestra (1946) - 2. Arioso. AndantinoBerliner Philharmoniker 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Stravinsky: Concerto In D For String Orchestra (1946) - 3. Rondo. AllegroBerliner Philharmoniker 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Honegger: Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra and Trumpet; Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique" / Stravinsky: Concerto in D for String Orchestra + Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht; Pelleas und Melisande
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Product Details

  • Performer: Fritz Wesenigk
  • Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
  • Composer: Arthur Honegger, Igor Stravinsky
  • Audio CD (July 14, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GQN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,036 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Herbert von Karajan liked to think of himself as the great conductor of the German classical repertoire: Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms. Perhaps out of insecurity, he recorded and recorded that music incessantly--there are four complete Beethoven symphony cycles, for instance. But he really was at his best in other things, and everyone agrees that these performances of Honegger symphonies are among his finest recordings. Part of their allure lies simply in the quality of the playing, for no one could deny that he cultivated a technical standard with the Berlin Philharmonic that was second to none. But he also seems to respond to the music's savagery, its melancholy, and ultimate message of hope. In short, the music really turned him on, and it'll do the same for you. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Honegger Disc of all Time!!! October 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Karajan's account of both the second and third of the Honegger symphonies has never, and in my mind, will never be surpassed. In the second symphony Karajan gives us an intense, and extremely poetic version, of this most dark yet beutiful of the Honegger symphonies. The ending is particularly moving. Every detail comes out crystal clear, and we really see just what the composer was going for. The third is just as good. Karajan draws ravishing, and once again intense (I don't think that the word "intense" can be overused when reviewing this disc) playing from the Berlin Philharmonic. I believe Karajan really prized this music, and he seems to pour his heart and soul into it, showing us, as it seems ha already knew, that Honegger is truly one of the greatest composers of the 20'th century. Great sound quality,too, when listening to this CD you feel as if the orchestra was right in front of you. This disc can not be recommended enough; it's priceless.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CD Worth All the Raves July 23, 2002
Format:Audio CD
These recordings of Honegger's best symphonies have always received rave reviews, and for once the praise is worth it. The Second has ravishing string writing, often dense and mysterious but finally triumphant. The Third for full orchestra is more brutal but the slow movement and final coda shows off some of the most poetic writing of any 20th century composer. These are symphonies of the war years and are serious meditations of the times. Why Honegger is so little played these days is beyond me - he is modern yet definitely tonal. Most listeners will have little trouble entering this soundscape.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb recording in every way March 27, 2000
Format:Audio CD
It would be hard to believe that Karajan made a finer recording than this legendary recording of two of Honneger's symphonic masterworks. It deserved all of the superlative reviews that it has received. Both symphonies convey the anguish and despair of a war-torn, ravaged Europe and yet there are passages that convey hopefulness. Both symphonies were written with very deep-felt conviction and Karajan, in deeply committed performances, brings this to the fore. A must for any serious classical collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest symphonic recordings...period. November 25, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The reviews are correct; some of Karajan's finest work is on this disc. Also, some of the best compositions of the 20th century are here. But well above that, this CD contains something otherworldly. It's like the BPO and Karajan were possessed, or were in some kind of meditation, following a powerful spirit in this music that just sweeps everyone up in it. Newer and digital recordings can sound quite good, but they all adhere strictly to technical aspects in the music, especially tempo and dynamics, where as this disc locks in to something utterly spiritual. Big talk, I realize, but every time I hear this CD I am floored. In comparison to this, other Honegger symphony interpreters are just playing notes on a page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected Masterpieces, a Very Special Recording August 31, 2007
Format:Audio CD
In his book THE SYMPHONY, Michael Steinberg says something to the effect that if you mention the name "Arthur Honegger" to most music lovers you will probably get "Hmm...Didn't he write the piece about the locomotive?". (Indeed, Honegger did write PACIFIC 231, a sonic impression of a steam locomotive and hardly one of his deepest pieces.) Sadly, this composer's notoriety today is wildly out of proportion with his worth and importance. I discovered Honegger largely through my interest in French music and LES SIX (the French "Group of Six"), of which Honegger was a part. Upon hearing the powerful LITURGIQUE symphony for the first time, I was amazed. Everything about the music - its polyphonic depth, its architecture, the incandescence of the instrumental colors, the amplitude and expressiveness of the melodic line - proclaimed its composer one of the neglected geniuses of 20th-century music. Honegger's music synthesizes the shaded delicacy of Debussy, the kinetic energy and dissonance of Stravinsky, and the polyphonic chorale tradition deriving from Bach into a dense, rich musical language of solidity, integrity, and eloquence. I vastly prefer Honegger to Bartok or Shostakovich (two composers that another reviewer mentioned as possibly preparatory to these symphonies), and I find it a scandal that he is not better known. It is fortunate that an important conductor such as Karajan chose to record these works. The church acoustic lends a spacious airiness to the recording, and the playing is of undeniable commitment, fullness, passionate virtuosity, and expressive depth. Karajan's readings of the magnificent adagio and the final andante of the LITURGIQUE stretch out their breathtaking, marmoreal beauty. Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honegger Remembered, Another Famous Karajan Classic September 9, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If the liner notes by Karl Schumann are to be believed, these Arthur Honegger Symphonies were part of the standard orchestral repertoire at the time Karajan recorded his classic accounts. I wasn't alive in the late 60's or early 70's, so I can't confirm if Honegger had a more secure place in the repertoire than he has now. Going to a concert hall to hear a performance of a Honegger symphony by a major orchestra is very rare nowadays. Luckily Herbert von Karajan recorded these instant classics in late 1969.

To call the strings impeccable in Symphony 2, ( composed 1941 ), is an understatement, this is the Berlin Philharmonic we're talking about, under Karajan they were by far the finest strings in the world. Hell, they were the best orchestra in the world, period.

Symphony 3, "Liturgique", ( composed 1945-46 ), receives a one of a kind, supreme reading as well. It is nigh-definitive, the dies irae passionate, the adagio suitably expansive and moving, the final dona nobis pacem stunning in it's virtuosity. Just like the second symphony this music was inspired by World War II and there's plenty of tragic emotion in the work.

The only thing on this disc that might be deemed not as perfect is the short Stravinsky work, Concerto for String Orchestra. The Berlin strings are very cultured and smooth here and perhaps this elegant sophistication is not suitable to the Stravinsky style as a more abrasive approach would be. You'll have to be the judge, I found it quite wonderful myself, but then again, you're not buying this for the Stravinsky.

It you want the two best Honegger symphonies, played by the finest orchestra in the world, conducted by perhaps the greatest podium figure of the 20th-century, then this is your ticket. The sound as remastered by DG is very fine. A collector's item in every sense.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the recording, not to the reputation!
At the very least, as with his belated exploration of Mahler (begun with the 5th Symphony in 1973), Karajan's embrace of Honegger brought to the composer a whole new audience that... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Discophage
5.0 out of 5 stars This disc has long been considered as close to definitive and remains...
This recording was much admired when it was first issued back in the early 1970's since when there have been a number of other recordings, not only just of these two symphonies,... Read more
Published 22 months ago by I. Giles
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magnificence
This is one of the legendary recordings in the catalogue, and deservedly so. Some of Karajan's recordings from the sixties and later are stymied by his incessant search for beauty... Read more
Published on June 26, 2011 by G.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous reflection on war during war
Symphony #2 is just strings singing questionably toward the beginning or middle of WW2 joined at the last part of the last movement by a single trumpet playing a German choral. Read more
Published on August 8, 2006 by Don
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Honegger
I have this fabulous 3rd symphony (too bad the 5th ("Di Tre Re") wasn't also included in this set) with Baudo & the Czech Phil. Read more
Published on August 8, 2005 by Rudolf Dankwort
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
I purchased this recording awhile ago primarily for Honegger's Symphony No. 2, and quite frankly, though the recording quality is fine, Karajan's distant, cavernous-sounding... Read more
Published on March 26, 2005 by Leonard J. Raham
5.0 out of 5 stars A 20th Century Classic, both music and performance!
It's never really been out of fashion amongst some to denigrate von Karajan for being smooth and suave when he should be rough and ready, etc. etc. Read more
Published on June 8, 2002 by DAVID A. FLETCHER
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, but also look elsewhere
Namely, the Mravinsky Version of the Honegger 3 is allt he more 'gnarly' and down and dirty. Mravinsky uses his elite, higly idiosyncratic, Leningrad forces with the infamous... Read more
Published on August 16, 2000
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