I AM A COMPOSER by Arthur Honegger


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This book appeared in the Mon Metier series (which also included Charles Munch's I am a Conductor, 1955) in France in 1951; it has been translated into several languages since, but not previously into English. Mr. Honegger was in a sombre mood at the time of its inception, which his interlocutor, the critic Bernard Gavoty, interprets as the effect of a non-producing period. Indeed, the composer envisioned the end of music and with it the end of civilization. The pessimistic temper of his repartee (""It is clear that the first specification for a composer is to be dead"") on the plight of the composer (""a profession which will earn him some successes perhaps but not a living"") recurs throughout, although there are moments of pleasure, in recalling happy collaborations with such poets as Paul Claudel and Apollinaire. He writes too of the process of composing (""To write music is to raise a ladder without a wall to lean it against""), about composers, about performance. A sober coda to the composer's work which will be of chief interest to students and admirers.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1966
Publisher: St. Martin's Press