A sudden switch to rather harsh and busy contrapuntal activity makes an effective contrast, and the two elements coexist as the movement proceeds, rather as if a soulful soliloquy is continually being broken in upon by the traffic noise of the city streets outside. It is the cello’s lyrical song that has the last word, however. That lyricism turns melancholy and even bitter in the Lento slow movement, where the cello’s voice sounds sombre and protesting against hints of funeral march in the strings and lonely city sounds in brass and woodwind. An impassioned and virtuosic cello recitative provokes an angry orchestral outburst before a delicate dance-like ostinato idea appears in the woodwind and becomes the accompaniment to the cello’s reverie.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2008
|Honegger: Une Cantate de Noël, Cello Concerto & other orchestral works|
Honegger’s Une Cantate de Noël is a Christmas number with a difference. It is his last work and one of his most popular compositions. A notable feature is the intertwining of traditional carols in French and German: perhaps symbolizing peace a ...» More