NICOLAS DE FLUE
Dramatische Legende von Denis de Rougemont für Sprecher, Kinderchöre, Chor und Blasorchester
On the surface, war and the threat of civil war form the dramatic focal points of Honegger's Nicolas de Flue, and in fact war itself casts its shadow upon the history of its first performance. The work was commissioned by Canton Neuchatel for the Swiss national exhibition of 1939 (the so-called 'Landi'), the libretto being written by Denis de Rougemont, and the music composed by Arthur Honegger. Not only did the general mobilization render impossible the planned première in Zurich, but a performance planned in Neuchatel also had to be cancelled because of World War II. Thanks to the Cäcilienverein, the music society of Soleure, the première did eventually take place, as a concert performance conducted by Erich Schild. Like King David, which made the young Honegger famous at a stroke in 1921, Nicolas de Flue too is primarily incidental music for a play along the lines of the traditional Swiss festival plays. The actors, chorus members and musicians taking part in the première were all amateurs. This makes the following remark of Honegger particularly appropriate: 'It has always been my wish and my endeavour to write a music that would be comprehensible to the great bulk of listeners; yet it must be a music so free from banality that it would also be capable of captivating true music-lovers.'
Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)
Jean-Luc Bideau (Sprecher), Akademichor Luzern, Chor des Collegium Musicum Luzern, Sängerknaben und Mädchenchor der Luzerner Kantorei, Bläser der Jungen Philharmonie Zentralschweiz, Alois Koch (Leitung).
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