Le Roi David - Arthur Honegger

Le Roi David
Vocal Score
014070, 14070, 9790202800379
Ancora Verlagsservice
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Arthur Honegger 1892-1955
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Le Roi David - Arthur Honegger

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Le roi David was composed in Mézières, Switzerland in 1921 by Arthur Honegger and is classified as an oratorio or more specifically as a dramatic psalm. The libretto was written by René Morax (1873-1963), and tells the biblical story of King David's life from the time he was a shepherd, to his conquests in battle, his rise to power, his lust for another man's wife, his agony over his son's death, his disobedience to God, and finally to his own death. The work is separated into twenty-seven sections or movements and depends heavily on thematic elements. Arthur Honegger was commissioned to write incidental music to accompany Rene Morax's play Le roi David in 1921. Honegger was given the nearly impossible deadline of 2 months to complete the work and was rewarded with much acclaim at the premiere. In 1923 he combined Morax's narrative with his music and created a 'symphonic psalm,' the form that is familiar today, and titled his work Le roi David. The instrumentation is often sparse, as a medium-sized orchestra (2 flutes [1 doubling piccolo], 2 oboes [1 doubling cor anglais], 2 clarinets [1 doubling bass clarinet], 2 bassoons [1 doubling contrabassoon], 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tambourine, tam-tam, organ, celesta, harp, and strings) accompanying a chorus (often singing antiphonally or in unison), soprano, alto, tenor, and boy soprano soloists, a narrator and an actress for no.12 - Incantation Scene (Saul and the witch of Endor). The music is separated into 27 mostly brief sections and features many individual instruments.

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