New recording of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck (July 2023)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Manfred Honeck and Reference Recordings present a new recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces, newly arranged for large orchestra by Manfred Honeck and Tomáš Ille. 

Schulhoff’s (1894-1942) Five Pieces for String Quartet were written in 1923 and premiered in Salzburg the following year. When Manfred Honeck heard them a few years ago in a concert by the Clarion Quartet from Pittsburgh, he had the idea

“to arrange these five jewels for large orchestra. Upon listening to them again, it was quite clear to me how to orchestrate this effectively for full orchestra and I knew that I wanted this to be the next in our line of new works performed and recorded for the first time.”

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 has accompanied Manfred Honeck since his earliest years as a conductor:

There is hardly another composer whose music has been unjustifiably characterized as overly-sentimental and bombastic than Tchaikovsky in his Fifth Symphony.  Not to deny the sentiment or triumphant fortissimi, but for me, the secret lies in not overplaying these moments. Highlighting or exaggerating them runs the risk of distorting the music into insufferable mawkishness or turning a triumphant march into nothing but hysterical racket.  Perhaps this may be the reason why this great Symphony has, at times, been criticized. But in my point of view, I find Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony to be one of the most profound of its time.

This album was recorded live in June 2022 in the historic Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

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