Reference Recordings - Hybrid Multichannel SACD -
Over the years I have come to realize that I have not always been fair when comparing new SACD releases with older RBCD versions. The reason is that, with the right equipment, the hi-res quality of the SACD plays such an unmistakably positive role in one’s appreciation that it often overshadows the musical content of the older CD. By the same token it also means that sound quality does matter in that the better definition and the greater dynamic range restore much of the emotional experience one gets in the concert hall. Under one condition though, and that is that the sound engineers get it right. Mark Donahue of Soundmirror, Boston, MA, is such a wizard. He got it right.With such an exemplarily recorded Fifth, Manfred Honeck, the PSO and Reference Recording provide us with an obvious contender for the top of our wish list.Sound 5/5 HRaudio Review
Majestic, solemn music from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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.
Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47
Moderato-Allegro Non Troppo
Allegro Non Troppo
Adagio for Strings