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6 - Arthur Honegger: Music Critic for Musique et Théâtre (1925–1926)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 July 2019

Pascal Lécroart
Affiliation:
Professor of French Literature at the University of Franche-Comté where he is co-coordinator of the Arts and Literature research centre (ELLIADD, EA 4661).
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Summary

Arthur Honegger's Écrits forms an impressive volume of over eight hundred pages. Although music criticism per se certainly constitutes one of the most frequently represented genres of writing in the volume, it is not always easy to identify. For example, a text like Je suis compositeur, which comprises over one hundred pages drawn from interviews with Bernard Gavoty, does not fit easily into that category. The remainder of the writings offer considerable generic diversity and include prefaces to various works, responses to surveys and interviews, texts written on the occasion of the première or performance of his works and sometimes open letters. Finally, the volume includes articles written about his colleagues, about their works, or about strictly musical issues, which fall under what is specifically considered ‘music criticism’, even if their content, aside from expressing requisite aesthetic considerations, sometimes includes poetic, historical, sociological, ethical and even political, perspectives. From the outset of his career, Honegger published articles in different newspapers and periodicals including those specialising in music – such as Le Courrier musical, La Revue musicale, La Page musicale, L'Information musicale, Appogiature, Opéra, L'Opéra de Paris, Le Journal des jeunesses musicales and the Journal musical français – as well as publications directed at a broader readership, including Chantecler, Candide, Le Mois and Excelsior.

If music criticism is defined in a narrow journalistic sense (for example, as the activity of reviewing the musical production of various composers in a regular newspaper or periodical column following public performance or diffusion via media such as publication, disc and radio broadcast) then Honegger repeatedly wrote in this genre. Indeed, it is important to recall that he was one of the best-known critics of the weekly newspaper Comoedia, which was revived in 1941 after having been discontinued in 1937. His contribution to this pre-eminent wartime publication comprises more than 230 pages of his collected writings. After the publication of Comoedia was stopped following the Liberation of Paris in August 1944, Honegger wrote less regularly, contributing to weeklies such as XXe siècle and Spectateur between 1945 and 1946. From this extensive written output, in 1948 he published Incantations aux fossiles, an anthology of his articles and contributions.

Type
Chapter
Information
Music Criticism in France, 1918–1939
Authority, Advocacy, Legacy
, pp. 151 - 168
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2018

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