Adrian Quanjer adds a second HRAudio.net review for the new Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck recording of Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” and Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1:
“One more ‘Eroica’? Not quite. This is an exceptional account which doesn’t necessarily supplant your cherished favourites, because the reason for wanting to have it is of a completely different nature: This performance sheds an unexpected new light on probably the biggest war horse of all times. Exaggerated? Absolutely! Maestro Honeck, known for his thought-provoking ideas and performances, tells us in his personal introductory notes ‘why’. Two hundred years after its première people have gotten used to the characteristics of the ‘Eroica’. In order to give today’s listener the same shock as the audience at the 1825 Vienna ‘Uraufführung’ experienced, added accentuation and dynamics are needed to recreate that same sensation. Honeck succeeds on all counts!
Moreover, this is not just music making of the highest order by all concerned: The conductor, the orchestra and the recording engineers. Normally I would listen to excerpts of a new disc to get a first overall impression, before delving deeper into it. But this live recording leaves such an irresistible impression that, once hooked, I could not stop listening.…
With Strauss we enter different waters, and I was pleased to note that Soundmirror left sufficient time to either enable a mind reset or switch off for listening later. … Right from the start there can be no doubt: Caballero is a magician, knowing every single tube in his horn. Rather than Mendelssohn or Schumann, as suggested by the liner notes, this concerto reminds me of Carl Maria von Weber (his elegant Horn concerto Op. 45). Here, too, the horn clearly is the focal center, giving Cabalero all the room to share his devilish virtuosity with the (live) audience.
On several counts, and also because there is no SACD alternative, I consider this horn concerto to be an unmissable addition to the catalogue.”