Graham Rickson reviews the new Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck Beethoven Symphony Nos. 5 & 7 recording for The Arts Desk:
“These performances, though never sluggish, are huge. In the best possible way. Their grandeur is irresistible, reminding us just how rare large-scale, modern instrument performances are. We know that Beethoven preferred big orchestras. He’d presumably have loved this disc. … Glorious. As is this Seventh, the Vivace’s rhythms enunciated with impeccable clarity. … And, again, what a finale. The earth moves. There’s a wonderful moment seven minutes in, where the shadows briefly descend. Honeck’s handling of it is matchless, and the closing pages are overwhelming. This disc should be prescribed as an anti-depressant, showing doubters exactly why classical music can still entertain and overwhelm. Everything I’ve heard from this particular orchestra/conductor combo has delighted me, and this is their best recording to date. Flawless engineering, and Honeck’s enthusiastic notes are a joy to read.” —Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk
Read the full review on The Arts Desk.