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Design of the current banknote series

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20 franc banknote

Basic colour: red
Size: 137 x 74 mm
Date of issue: 1 October 1996
Personality: Arthur Honegger
 

Remember this man's picture.

The portrait on the front of the 20 franc banknote shows Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), one of this century's greatest composers. The broad-ranging work of this Swiss composer includes two operas, five symphonies, several orchestral works, various dramatic oratorios and a large body of chamber music. In addition to his famous symphony for the steam locomotive «Pacific 231» (the elements on the reverse of the banknote refer to this work), Honegger wrote extensively in a lighter vein for the ballet, stage and film. The strict formalism and clarity of his musical idiom, with which he hoped to reach a very wide audience, is an important bridge between German and French speaking culture.

 
1

Microtext (front face)

DAS UMFANGREICHE UND VIELSCHICHTIGE WERK VON ARTHUR HONEGGER UMFASST SYMPHONIE ORATORIUM OPERETTE UND FILMMUSIK - SEINE MUSIK SCHLÄGT BRÜCKEN ZWISCHEN DER FRANZÖSISCH- UND DER DEUTSCHSPRACHIGEN KULTUR - ALS KOMPONIST UND ENGAGIERTER HUMANIST WILL ER EIN GROSSES PUBLIKUM ERREICHEN

L'OVRA IMMENSA DAD ARTHUR HONEGGER CUMPIGLIA LA SINFONIA L'ORATORI L'OPERETTA E LA MUSICA DA FILM - IL CUMPONIST È STÀ IN GROND INTERMEDIATUR TRANTER LA CULTURA FRANZOSA ET TUDESTGA ED IN UMANIST ENGASCHÀ - CUN SIA MUSICA HA EL VULÌ CUNTANSCHER IN VAST PUBLIC

A

The orchestral works

The three trumpet valves symbolize the crucial role played by brass instruments in Honegger's orchestral works. Together with the locomotive wheel and compressor, the piano keyboard and the score, they evoke Honegger's famous composition about a locomotive.

B

«Pacific 231», a locomotive in music

With his symphonic work «Pacific 231», Honegger created a musical monument to this wonder of technology. The wheel symbolizes rhythm, power and motion, and the compressor stands for technology mastering power. The two elements conjure up the composition's recurrent themes of acceleration and deceleration.

C

The score

Typical parts of the score of «Pacific 231» are reproduced. The musical notation reflects an intense rhythmic texture and evokes both the composer as creator and the typical sound of «Pacific 231».

D

The work instrument

The piano is the composer's work instrument. Together with the trumpet valves, the piano keyboard represents two fundamental principles of Honegger's composition: rhythm as a vital, defining structure and harmony, which aims at immediate effect.

1

Microtext (back side)

L'OEUVRE TRÈS RICHE ET AUX MULTIPLES FACETTES D'ARTHUR HONEGGER VA DE LA SYMPHONIE ET L'ORATORIO À L'OPÉRETTE ET À LA MUSIQUE DE FILM - IL FUT UN COMPOSITEUR VISANT LA PLUS VASTE AUDIENCE UN TRAIT D'UNION ENTRE LES CULTURES D'EXPRESSION FRANÇAISE ET ALLEMANDE ET UN HUMANISTE ENGAGÉ

L'ESTESA E POLIEDRICA OPERA DI ARTHUR HONEGGER COMPRENDE LA SINFONIA L'ORATORIO L'OPERETTA E LA MUSICA DA FILM - LA SUA MUSICA GETTA UN PONTE CHE COLLEGA LE CULTURE D'ESPRESSIONE FRANCESE E TEDESCA - COME COMPOSITORE E IMPEGNATO UMANISTA EGLI SI PREFIGGE DI RAGGIUNGERE UN VASTO PUBBLICO

Curriculum vitae: Arthur Honegger
PDF (70 kB)