The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck’s Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 and Schulhoff: Five Pieces is a Gramophone Recording of the Month and Editor’s Choice feature!
“Manfred Honeck has been Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 2008, during which time they have released many discs together on Reference Recordings, including several that have earned recognition as Editor’s Choice: Dvořák, Mahler and ‘Promethean’ Beethoven (as described by Richard Osborne, 12/15) among others.… And now they come to the Fifth… Honeck and Pittsburgh are a well-oiled team in prime condition. This new album was also recorded in concert in the historic Heinz Hall. … Reference Recordings plunges the listener deep into the orchestra; the stereo picture is wider – double basses on your extreme left – and inner detail tells. … This is one of the best new Tchaikovsky Fifths I’ve heard for ages.
Honeck likes to programme his albums inventively, often with a new work, a rarity or a piece he himself has arranged. The unusual filler this time is Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces for String Quartet orchestrated by Tomáš Ille and Honeck and performed in the same concert as the Tchaikovsky. They’re dancelike with a witty Shostakovich flavour, quirky, occasionally grotesque. Schulhoff dedicated them to Darius Milhaud and I can imagine the Frenchman enjoying them, the sultry tango milonga in particular. But honestly, even if this Fifth came with no coupling, I’d still recommend it.”—Mark Pullinger, Gramophone