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HONEGGER: Symphony No. 3, 'Liturgique' / Pacific 231 / Rugby, performed
by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Naxos 8.555974

Conductor: Takuo Yuasa

Orchestra(s): New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

Born of Swiss-French parents, Arthur Honegger spent much of his life in
Paris, though his music is far removed from the gaiety and whimsicality
frequently evoked by the group of French composers known as Les Six. He is now
best remembered for a sequence of vivid and increasingly dramatic orchestral
works, including the Third Symphony, which gives voice to the
composer's horror at the new levels of barbarity and inhumanity perpetrated
by mankind during the war. While Honegger's Pacific 231 is a graphic musical
depiction of a train in motion and the tone poem Pastorale d'été describes
summer in the Alps above Berne, Rugby is less a graphic depiction of the sport
than an effervescent scherzo that can be enjoyed purely as music.

Honegger Symphony No 3 Review

"Because most other record companies produce maybe one or two discs a
month, it isn't hard to decide which one or ones to review. But because the
folks at Naxos usually produce up to a dozen new discs a month, it's a little
more problematical which ones to request for review. Sometimes, they're
mediocre. Sometimes one lucks out and finds a gem. This one is a gem.

Performances and sound are top-notch for this recital of Honegger
orchestral music, every bit the equal of David Zinman's fine Decca recording
of some years back and at up to half the price. It's a bargain that's hard
to resist, especially if

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  • Store location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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