I rarely miss a concert with a really big and really obscure piece of music. Naturally I went to see Marin Alsop conduct Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, and I wrote about it for Bachtrack.
The short life and terrifying death of Joan of Arc are the subject of Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher
(“Joan of Arc at the Stake”), a curious masterpiece of an oratorio
dating from 1938. The nearly-forgotten work received a well-deserved
resurrection by Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at
Carnegie Hall on Saturday night.
Addendum: It’s a peculiar work and I’m not sure if I’m really inside the style yet, but I’m glad that I heard it. I’m reluctant to pass strong aesthetic judgement on it because I don’t have a very firm grasp on Honegger in general, but I’m inclined to put it more in the category of intriguing curiosity than important rediscovery.
According to this from the Baltimore City Paper, the orchestra-overpowering chorus was around 120 strong.