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Completed during World War II, Honegger’s Symphony No. 2 gives voice to the composer’s horror of mankind’s barbarity and inhumanity perpetrated during the conflict. Its power derives from the seamlessness of its construction and the intensity of its expression. The work’s dark, brooding mood comes to a profoundly moving climax in the finale’s elegiac chorale tune, played on first violins accompanied by trumpet, thus ending the symphony on a more optimistic note than might be expected. Henri Lazarof’s Concerto for Orchestra No. 2, ‘Icarus’ is a volatile, richly coloured score, and Poema, composed as a wedding gift for Gerard Schwarz and his wife, is both romantic and brilliant.
Arthur Honegger: Symphony No. 2, "Symphonie pour cordes"
I. Molto moderato - Allegro
II. Adagio mesto
III. Vivace non troppo
Henri Lazarof: Concerto for Orchestra No. 2, "Icarus"
Henri Lazarof: Poema
“The mournful tone of the introduction to the first movement is overwhelming in its description of the oppressiveness of the Occupation. This feeling continues in the Allegro proper and Schwarz and the Seattle strings forcefully convey the movement’s tone. The crucial inner voices are especially well-handled...Unfortunately, things break down in the famous Vivace as Schwarz and the players increasingly lose track of the thematic layers”