Reference Recordings proudly presents Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, in a significant new interpretation from conductor Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It is coupled with Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces, newly arranged for large orchestra by Manfred Honeck and Tomáš Ille.
This is the 19th DSD album from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra that is available at NativeDSD Music!
The popular Austro-Czech composer Schulhoff ’s career ended in a concentration camp during the Nazi’s rise in Germany, but not before composing a number of pieces inspired by Jazz and Dance influences. His 1924 Five Pieces for String Quartet is the most performed. This album was recorded live in 2022 in beautiful and historic Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in superb DSD Stereo and Surround Sound.
Maestro Honeck honors us again with his meticulous music notes, in which he gives us great insight into his interpretation as well as the history and musical structure of Tchaikovsky’s great Symphony No. 5. He gives special emphasis to the recurring “fate” themes so prominent in this symphony and in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Manfred Honeck, Conductor
Read a review from HRAudio site reviewer Adrian Quanjer.
From his instructive notes, it is clear that Maestro Honeck has not only studied the score of the Fifth Symphony in the minutest detail but also that he has set it off against Tchaikovsky’s personal feelings as expressed above. In doing so, he adds what in his view needs to be added to unravel and enhance the intellectual charge of the score.
Featured in blog post Notes on Recent Finds, No. 9 – Endless Bounty from NativeDSD by music reviewer Rushton Paul.
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:00:24
|Original Recording Format
|July 28, 2023
This is Manfred Honeck’s second recording of this great Symphony where, as in his brilliant account of the Fourth, he eschews the swooping and swooning that disfigures so many performances. He takes his time in the opening fate motif and as always, pays scrupulous attention to the numerous dynamic markings.
This movement is full of changes of mood and pace, which Honeck navigates effortlessly, the fate theme’s fortissimo outbursts are incisive and doom-laden and the antiphonal violins allow you to hear their interplay. At a flowing tempo Honeck brings a hint of Viennese charm to the gorgeous Waltz and its skittish second theme. The Pittsburgh strings sing the fate motif – now in the major – which introduces the finale, where, unlike so many, Honeck doesn’t dawdle. He gallops through the Allegro vivace with crashing timpani and blazing brass and is similarly impetuous in the coda. This is a great performance.
With regard to the Schulhoff, Manfred Honeck liked the dances so much he and Tomáš Ille decided to, quite brilliantly, orchestrate them. These are tuneful, wonderfully inventive works, boasting a host of seductive harmonies and rhythms, which should be in the core repertoire.
The very large string band has exceptional presence and weight… the brass, the Andante’s solo horn is perfectly balanced and tonally, very natural, with both body and bloom and in the finale they cut through thrillingly.
The timpani are equally crisp, with a thrilling roll at the start of the finales Allegro vivace, where you can hear the sticks hit the skins and the percussion band in the Schulhoff is perfectly balanced and realistic.
An excellent performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 is coupled with Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces, newly arranged for large orchestra by Manfred Honeck and Tomáš Ille…
Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony is, of course, the lengthier work on this album and for some will be the primary reason to consider acquiring the album. Honeck’s interpretation is fresh and lively, with a sinewy strength that I quite enjoyed. Far from being mired in romantic indulgences, this performance lives, breathes, and dances with vigor. It is a welcome addition to my music library. And, still, I’d get the album for the wonderful Schulhoff Five Pieces.
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