The Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck’s new BEETHOVEN: Symphony Nos. 5 & 7 recording has been nominated as a 2015 Recording of the Year by THREE MusicWeb International critics — one of only two recordings to receive such a distinction!
“The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck is on world class form with Beethoven’s Symphonies No’s 5 and 7. This release only arrived a short time ago but its merits were evident immediately. In these live accounts one senses an elevated level of musical intelligence from Honeck together with an unyielding structural coherence. Outstandingly performed and recorded this special Reference Recordings release conducted by Manfred Honeck sits comfortably alongside the finest recordings in the catalogue.”
“These live performances are raw, uncompromising and compelling. The opening of Symphony 5 grotesquely contrasts the ‘Fate motif’ and timid strings’ response but the extreme dynamics are Beethoven’s, likewise the opening of Symphony 7 where bludgeoning power vies with pleading for calm. The seventh’s slow movement is contorted anguish, its finale demonic drive.”
“The bar is very, very high for any Beethoven symphony album that wants to be a Recording of the Year. And the bar just got much higher, thanks to state-of-the-art sound, performances that are both deeply thoughtful and thrilling, and probably the best booklet notes I’ve ever read.”