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Manfred Honeck - Beethoven: Symphony No. 3/Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1


Reference Recordings



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EAN: 3018882212821
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Hybrid Multichannel SACD

Hybrid Multichannel SACD

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Hybrid multichannel SACD

Manfred Honeck conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

"Reading Manfred Honeck's extensive booklet note (nearly 10 single-spaced pages on the Eroica alone) before playing the CD left me slightly apprehensive. His historical and analytical observations are persuasive but his disclosure of the many details he sought to spotlight — here adding ‘subtle accents' to elucidate a ‘hidden' figure in the violins, or there taking time to ‘bring out the different characters and expression' in an unusual harmonic progression - gave a suggestion of interpretative fussiness. I needn't have worried. There's nothing even remotely studied about Honeck's performance, unless one counts a tendency to anticipate sudden changes in dynamics. He pays unusual attention to detail, yes — note straight away the gently blossoming (and unmarked) crescendo on the ascending E flat major triad of the opening theme — but this never inhibits the music's momentum or trajectory. ... William Caballero, Pittsburgh's principal horn, shines in so many of the Eroica's most memorable passages that it's no wonder Reference chose to fill out the disc with a brilliant account of Strauss's First Concerto." — Grammophone, December 2018

"Honeck and the PSO deliver a thrilling performance of not only one of the most powerful and compelling symphonies ever composed, but arguably the greatest symphony ever composed - Beethoven's 'Eroica.' ... this recording of Beethoven's 'Eroica' symphony is a must for any serious connoisseur and collector. ... As with the other Pittsburgh Live! series recordings by Honeck and the PSO, this one sounds fantastic! They're not kidding when they call it Live! because the sound jumps out at you as if you were sitting right in front of the orchestra in Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, where it was recorded. This recording is a tour de force and stands among the great sound recordings of Beethoven's monumental symphony." — Henry Schlinger,, September 18, 2018 Read the entire review here.

"This latest release, the eighth in the Reference Recordings Fresh! series, pairs Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 Op 55 ("Eroica") with the Horn Concerto No.1 of Richard Strauss. ... From the Symphony's two opening chords it is clear that this is to be a fleet but never rushed account of the 1st movement (Allegro con brio). The playing has both lightness, grace and muscular strength in equal measure and, while tempi exhibit a degree of flexibility, a sense of forward momentum is never lacking. ...This latest Fresh! Release from Reference Recordings marks another spectacular success for Manfred Honeck and the superb musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It is one that even the most jaded of collectors of Beethoven symphonies should investigate without delay while Strauss aficionados will need no urging to do the same. Unreservedly recommended." — Graham Williams, Read the entire review here.

"We have here a combination of the large orchestral precision of a Karajan, the chamber-like energy of a Järvi and... the novelty of a Honeck. It's solid, it's impressive, it's in one word: Heroic. Whether or not one likes Honeck's often outspoken approach, this a ‘must listen' and you may get hooked, just like me." — Adrian Quanjer, Read the entire review here.

Reference Recordings proudly presents these two iconic works in definitive interpretations from Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in superb audiophile sound. This Hybrid SACD release was recorded in beautiful and historic Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

In his fascinating and scholarly music notes, Maestro Honeck gives us insight into the history of both pieces, and describes how he conducts and interprets each. He reminds us that the "Eroica" was a bold departure from earlier symphonies, a "dance symphony with dramatic inventiveness, full of new elements that had never been heard before." He quotes Beethoven's student Ferdinand Ries, who wrote "Beethoven played recently for me (the "Eroica") and I believe both heaven and earth must tremble when it is performed." Honeck puts his own inimitable stamp on this interpretation, giving the listener a chance to experience the novelties of the "Eroica" as if hearing it for the very first time.

William Caballero, Principal Horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and soloist on Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1, provides a thrilling and masterful performance of this youthful Strauss work. Before joining PSO in 1989, he held Principal Horn positions with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Hartford Symphony. He has performed as guest Principal Horn with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony. The booklet notes include his very interesting thoughts on the history and performance of the Concerto, in a question/answer format joined with Maestro Honeck.

This release is the eighth in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series of multi-channel hybrid SACD releases on the FRESH! series from Reference Recordings.


Symphony No. 3, Op. 55 “Eroica”
I. Allegro con brio
II. Marcia funebre
III. Scherzo
IV. Finale

Horn Concerto No. 1, Op. 11
William Caballero, Horn
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro

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