From Publishers Weekly
Halbreich, a Belgian musicologist who previously authored books on Debussy and Messiaen, offers a detailed study of Honegger (1892-1955), the Swiss-born member of the 1920s group of French composers Les Six, which also included his friends Poulenc and Milhaud. Halbreich chronicles the life of Honegger and ends with an annotated catalogue of works by the composer of the noted modern oratorios Jeanne d'Arc au b?cher and Le roi David, as well as popular symphonic pieces such as the railway-inspired Pacific 231. A musical traditionalist whose compositions possessed drama and sometimes righteous rage, Honegger also wrote a number of lesser-known works of high interest, from symphonies to chamber musicAand Halbreich performs an invaluable service by drawing attention to these many hidden treasures. The British author and translator Nichols, well-known for his own studies of modern French music, provides a sterling translation of the French original. Halbreich's only flaw is that he's far too forgiving of Honegger's role in wartime Paris, where the composer wrote for Nazi-sponsored magazinesAan action that even Honegger's friends and most later writers criticized. That aside, Halbreich offers an essential volume for understanding not only a major group of musical works but French musical life from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Original Language: French