LABELS: DG Originals
WORKS: Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3 (Liturgique); Concerto in D
PERFORMER: Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
CATALOGUE NO: 447 435-2 ADD (1972/73)
These great symphonies date from the war years, the Second from the dark days when Honegger lived through the occupation of Paris, the Third from 1945. In No. 2, this Berlin performance features superlative playing, intensifying the conflicts which are only resolved in the closing bars.
The Symphonie liturgique also confronts images of hope and despair, culminating in a long postlude sounding ‘the song of the bird’. Again the performance is magnificent, and the expressive power is extraordinary, for in this repertoire Karajan remains without peer. Completed by a beautifully balanced Stravinsky Concerto, this is a very special disc. Terry Barfoot