Symphony No. 2 (Honegger)

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The Symphony for strings and trumpet in D (Symphony for Strings), Arthur Honegger's second, was commissioned in 1937 by Paul Sacher to mark the tenth anniversary of the chamber orchestra Basler Kammerorchester. Progress was slow, however, in part due to the interruption of the Second World War.[1] The music is primarily for strings alone and is very turbulent and troubled until the trumpet soloist enters near the end of the music, giving this mostly tragic work a hopeful ending.

The first performance was given by the Collegium Musicum of Zurich under Sacher on 18 May 1942.

The work is in three movements:

  1. Molto moderato - Allegro
  2. Adagio mesto
  3. Vivace non troppo

The work is for string orchestra, except for the addition of a trumpet in the concluding chorale: "like pulling out an organ stop", according to the composer. The finale inspired Robert Hall Lewis' concerto for four trumpets.[2]


  1. ^ Warner Classics. Sleeve notes to Honegger Symphonies 1-5 2564 62687-2.
  2. ^ Lewis, Robert Hall. Destini, Osservazioni II, Atto, Moto, Concerto, CRI CD 569.