The Arts Fuse‘s Jonathan Blumhofer gives a warm recommendation to Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven & Stucky recording:
“The Pittsburgher’s performance is nothing if not very well balanced and strongly colored. Solos short and long – for tuba, contrabassoon, and English horn, among them – are all well done. And the orchestra has clearly got a firm grasp on Stucky’s highly intellectual (but still accessible) personal style. … it’s forceful, well-written music and given a decisive outing here.
Honeck’s [Beethoven Symphony No. 6] reading, though, doesn’t want for direction, personality, or sheer vigor. On the contrary: the opening movement is fresh and spirited, marked by excellent balances, keen dynamic sculpting, bold contrasts of texture and mood, as well as active crescendos. Every note, so it seems, is fired with purpose. … This is, then, yet more fine Beethoven from Honeck and his orchestra. The coupling with the Stucky is fitting. Taken with the album’s bracingly clean engineering and insightful liner notes (including the conductor’s in-depth discussion of his approach to Beethoven interpretation), and we’ve got ourselves another winner in this ongoing Pittsburgh/Beethoven series. Warmly recommended.”—Jonathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse