King David


sung by the
with 4-hand piano played by DAVID COLE and SCOTT HILL 


Special appearance

conducted by

Arthur Honegger's


Chamber Choir

The Choral Society's Chamber Choir sings
King David
a symphonic poem, composed
in 1921 by Arthur Honegger

Marc Chagall's "King David"

4pm at Friday Center, UNC Chapel Hill

100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC

near I-40 exits 273 and 273A

Plenty of parking!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Some answers from the Choral Society about this performance:

Singer and songwriter, war hero, adulterer, murderer, king. What a story!

Yes, and sung and narrated by the Chamber Choir in mostly King David's own words.

What is a "symphonic poem"?

What is the most interesting thing about this particular symphonic poem?

King David (Le Roi David) was the first big hit for Swiss composer Arthur Honegger. It was commissioned originally in 1921 as incidental music for a play by Rene Morax, but was so successful that in 1923, Honegger created a concert version, scored for soloists, chorus, and a chamber orchestra of mainly winds and percussion, including piano, organ, and celesta. Stravinsky had first been approached to write the score, but he turned it down, saying essentially to, "Go to Honegger."

When and why was this piece composed?

Jews, Christians and Muslims all recognize David as an important figure, although there are differences in how his narrative is told. But because of the eloquent range of human emotion from pathos to thanksgiving expressed in David's psalms, amplified by Honegger's music, this work has appeal for the religious and secular alike.

The most significant element of Le roi David is the combination of different styles of music in one complete work. Honegger uses compositional techniques ranging from Gregorian chant to Baroque to jazz. (Wikipedia) 

Come to our performance and see what influences you can pick out! A little Bach and Wagner here, a sprinkle of Stravinsky there, an echo of Ravel and Debussy, even Gershwin perhaps... Who will you identify?

Isn't King David an important figure in 3 major world religions? 

A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source. (Wikipedia)

What was happening in the political and art scene around 1921?

A lot of things transpired between Rachmaninoff's writing of the All Night Vigil in 1915 and Honegger's King David in 1921. The tsar and his family were executed and the Bosheviks had taken command of Russia. World War I had come to an end, its legacy a catastrophic loss of life and economic and political turmoil. Traditional ideas about art and music were abandoned, and the search for new forms was on.

Please join the conversation on our page on Facebook, and add what you know about the composers and artists that were helping shape the new age!

Who was Arthur Honegger?

Arthur Honegger (10 March 1892 – 27 November 1955) was a Swiss composer, who was born in France and lived a large part of his life in Paris. He was a member of Les Six.

You can find out more about Arthur Honegger here.

He was also really into trains...

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