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Manfred Honeck - Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5/Barber: Adagio

 (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)


Reference Recordings



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UPC: 030911272425
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Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Album, Classical - 60th Annual Grammy Awards!

Majestic, solemn music from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony's Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio make the Forbes Best Classical Recordings of 2017 list!

"The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's renderings of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 and Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings must constitute one of the most beautiful sounding recordings of these works; in that regard, the Grammy the release recently received in the ‘Best Engineered Album' category feels wholly warranted." — Ron Schepper,, February 2018. Read the whole review here.

"Manfred Honeck seems intent on wringing every last drop of drama from the symphony in this live recording. ... Honeck's cinematic approach is touchingly effective here, with the opening section unfolding in long, flowing phases, like a slow-sweeping panoramic shot. The finale packs a powerful sonic punch, thanks to impassioned playing by the Pittsburgh Symphony and stellar, rumble-the-floorboards engineering." — Andrew Farach-Colton, Gramophone, February 2018.

"[Manfred Honeck] interprets — he even anthropomorphizes the music. It works! The music comes alive in uncanny ways. I'm wary of interpreting too much into composers and their works, especially Shostakovich. ... Honeck's profound empathizing with the music — equally obvious from his own, extensive liner notes — denotes a passionate, detail-happy, and deeply caring performance." — Jens F. Laurson, Forbes. Read more here.

Reference Recordings proudly presents these two beloved works in definitive interpretations from Manfred
Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in superb audiophile sound.

In his fascinating and scholarly music notes, Maestro Honeck gives us great insight into the history of both pieces, and describes how he conducts and interprets each. He reminds us that Joseph Stalin's Soviet government was offended by Shostakovich's previous works. Under threat of arrest or banishment to Siberia, Shostakovich devised a new, less-complex compositional style for the 5th Symphony, still full of irony and double meaning, to appease Stalin and appeal to the common people.

The Adagio of Samuel Barber is his most performed work, and one of the most popular of all 20th Century orchestral works. It is beloved for its beautiful simplicity and emotion. Manfred Honeck describes Barber's 1967 a capella version for mixed choir using the "Agnus Dei" text, and tells us his own interpretation is inspired by this text. He says it is "for me, without a doubt, the key to finding a deeper sense of this piece. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Adagio has enchanted and moved audiences around the world since its very first incarnation and has continued to do so in all subsequent versions born since."

This release is the seventh in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series of multi-channel Hybrid SACD releases on the FRESH! series from Reference Recordings. Each has received dozens of critical accolades.

Dvorák/Janacek and Bruckner 4 have each received Grammy nominations for Best Orchestral Performance.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included many of the greats, including Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47
Moderato-Allegro Non Troppo
Allegro Non Troppo
Samuel Barber
Adagio for Strings

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