I had never before given a careful listen to Honegger's <Le Roi David>, no less sat and followed the French text that was inspired by the reopening of a village theater in 1921. When I got the Naxos release (8.553649) of the original version of this work, I was taken immediately not only by the beauty of the music but by the dramatic delivery of this cast. After this work had been successfully staged, a wealthy patron arranged a Paris concert version, which called for an expansion of the orchestrations and the addition of a narrator. What emerged was a 20th century oratorio. It tells the story of David from his life as a young shepherd to his death in the simplest and most vivid way: theatrically. It reminds me greatly of the Martinu "Gilgamesh" (which I highly recommend you hear also) but is less solemn. I think almost any one who like serious music will like this work; and local choral groups should take notice. Michel Piquemal conducts the Orchestre de la Cité with soloists Jacques Martin, Christine Fersen, Danielle Borst, Marie-Angel Todorovitch, and Gilles Ragon, and the Choeur Regional Vittoria d'Ile-de-France.