The New York Times has just published a list of “Five Classical Albums to Hear Right Now” and number one on the list is the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck’s Brahms: Symphony No. 4 and MacMillan: Larghetto for Orchestra!
“these forces have been setting new standards in the standards, their records combining astonishing playing… Right on cue, their new album offers James MacMillan’s gnarly-to-seraphic Larghetto for Orchestra, atmospherically adapted from his choral “Miserere” for its premiere in Pittsburgh in 2017. It serves as a sanguine epilogue to a Brahms Fourth that is frankly frightening in its details, from the shudders of its opening bars to the disembodied end of Lorna McGhee’s flute solo in the final movement. There are moments when there is little to do but gawp at the excellence and the uses to which it is put — the caustic edge in the horns, or the myriad varieties of vibrato that Honeck draws from the strings. … it’s another demonstration of the great merit of Honeck and the Pittsburghers: They show you the value of listening again, and again, to that which you thought you knew.”—David Allen, The New York Times