Honegger: Le roi David; Prélude, fugue et postlude; Monopartita; Le chant de Nigamon; Pastorale d’été

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COMPOSERS: Honegger
LABELS: Erato Ultima
WORKS: Le roi David; Prélude, fugue et postlude; Monopartita; Le chant de Nigamon; Pastorale d’été
PERFORMER: Christiane Eda-Pierre (soprano), Jeannine Collard (alto), Eric Tappy (tenor), Jean Desailly (narrator); Chorale Philippe Caillard, Ensemble Instrumental, Bavarian RSO/Charles Dutoit; Monte Carlo PO/Marius Constant
CATALOGUE NO: 3984-24244-2 ADD/DDD Reissue (1973-92)
Honegger was an eclectic composer whose achievement is well reflected in this stimulating compilation. Dutoit’s recording of the oratorio King David is particularly compelling: on hearing it one understands why the composer frequently returned to the formula of narrator, soloists, chorus and orchestra.

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The orchestral items show Honegger’s recurring interest in music for theatre and cinema, but the highlights are the tone poem Le chant de Nigamon, about the tragic fate of an Indian chief, and his final orchestral work, the distinctive Monopartita. Constant’s performances sometimes miss the biting edge the music demands, but they are faithful and reliable, like the recording. Terry Barfoot