Fanfare Magazine critics Merlin Patterson, Huntley Dent and Andrew Quint had one album in common on their year-end “Want Lists” — the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck Dvořák & Janáček SACD!
“Under music director Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is increasingly recognized as an ensemble to reckon with. … . In addition to a propulsive and thoughtfully structured account of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8, there’s also an effective synthesis of music from Janáček’s Jenůfa, “conceptualized” by Honeck and actually written by the contemporary Czech composer Tomáš Ille.” —Andrew Quint
“For the second year in a row, my list includes Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, a particular favorite of mine. This time the work is presented in a powerhouse performance by Manfred Honeck and his stellar Pittsburgh band captured in Reference’s usual state-of-the-art sound.” —Merlin Patterson
“What lifts this reading high enough to join the excellent ones one might name from the past (Walter, Kubelík, Kertész, Szell, Giulini, Tennstedt—the list is long) is that Honeck follows through with musical gestures that match all the points he makes in his notes. … Care is lavished on the details of a score that, frankly, is thrice-familiar music. Shedding new light on the Dvořák Eighth is quite an accomplishment, and it sets this recording apart… Honeck’s is generally an inward, graceful reading, and the orchestra plays with real finesse.” —Huntley Dent