The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a review for the new Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck recording of Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 and Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 with a headline declaring that it “grabs your soul (rewind) and grabs it again.”
“Most people have experienced musical recordings that, no matter what genre, demand to be listened to over and over again. These moments hold some sort of power over your soul; you hum and whistle them, tap out the rhythm on your chair, maybe conduct a bit to the orchestra in your head. (This last one might just be me.)… The new [Pittsburgh Symphony] disc is more energizing than your morning espresso. More detailed than the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. …
There are several moments that insist on repeated listening, almost like a thing alive: The first is the opening E-flat major triads that initiate the symphony, so sharply articulate that it feels like a cold bucket of water. The second is in the trio of the scherzo when the horn section enjoys a moment of rubato, holding onto the opening notes before mellowing their timbre and rocketing up through the arpeggio with gusto.
As to the Strauss. Mr. Caballero is one of the top horn players today, and his performance is richly nuanced, full of youthful bravura and charisma. Once again, the rousing opening call deserves to be played on repeat, while the subsequent lyrical playing caresses the ears with that noble sentiment that only the horn can evoke.
Earlier this year, the PSO earned a pair of Grammy awards for its recording of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 paired with Barber’s Adagio for Strings. I’ve heard both many times. This new recording is every bit as magnificent.”