Born in France to a Swiss family, Honegger had a longstanding warm relationship with Ravel, untainted by the criticisms of other members of Les Six. Ravel set him apart from other French composers by virtue of "his racial conscience, that is to say, German, for he is of a Swiss-German family." He points to the "German expansiveness" of his music, "contrary to the reserve of our French consciousness". (Ravel ).
Ravel defended Honegger against the criticisms of the critic Pierre Lalo, (Orenstein, , p.353-4). Honegger in his turn, in a posthumous tribute Ravel et le Debussysme, rejected the idea that Ravel was a follower of Debussy (Honegger ).
At the 'impromptu de Montfort', the party for Ravel at Le Belvédère in June 1928, Honegger joined Roland-Manuel in dressing up as a waiter to serve the other guests.