on 15 January 2010
It is easy to see why some music is neglected. This is certainly not the case with Honegger's symphonies. If you want a fine set of the five symphonies at bargain price, then look no further. If you wish to spend time in research you may find better performances of each of the symphonies. Karajan's recording of the second symphony is, as an example, ranked as one of the greatest recordings of the twentieth century. If you are seeking to investigate one or all of these grossly underrated symphonies for the first time then this set will prove to be a very sound start. The modern digital recordings are excellent. Charles Dutoit directs the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in performances that combine conviction and grace. Outstanding value
on 27 October 2010
I agree absolutely with the above reviewer.i continue to be amazed at the neglect shown to these wonderful sumphonies. Honegger spent quite a lot of his life troubled by mental illness and you can tell from his music that he suffered in life, he can portray pain without getting the listener too depressed. There is often a sense of redemption just around the corner ( even more in his wonderful piece 'jeanne d'arc' where the music for Jeanne's death is as moving as anything by Wagner or R.strauss ). There isn't a fully satisfactory set of honegger symphonies perhaps somebody could prevail on Janssons to record the other four - (there is an excellent recording of no.3) with RCO .As a means of getting to know this wonderful music the dutoit set is as good as any. I also enjoy the Baudo set which has fairly primitive supraphon sound but a raw excitement that the dutoit set lacks.