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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral" (Live)

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral" (Live)

Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

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Conductor Manfred Honeck and his Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recorded this live reading of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, in 2019. The marketplace was not exactly crying out for a new Beethoven's Ninth, even considering Honeck's strong track record in Classical-era repertory and Reference Recordings' increasingly fine results in Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall. However, it is absolutely worth experiencing Honeck's accomplishment here. The reading is distinctive and justified at length in a booklet essay by Honeck. His reading is fast, blazing, kinetic, with moments of high contrast, such as the ethereal third movement in its entirety, giving the listener breathing space. The first movement is quick, but Honeck relaxes the tempo just slightly as things proceed, making room for the brass to give their stentorian statements. The scherzo is very fast throughout, which has the effect of not stealing the delicate discourse from the slow movement, and the finale, though also fast, is never rushed. There is a certain logic in playing the work this way, inasmuch as the impossible-to-sing passages in the solos become just a bit less impossible at these speeds. Most impressive is that Honeck holds the musicians and the singers together at his blazing speeds; his 22:30 timing for the finale comes in more than two minutes faster than, say, Fritz Reiner's classic Chicago Symphony recording, and Honeck would have been even faster had he not offered a rather deliberate reading of the movement's recitative introduction. The soloists shine, and they deliver in a difficult reading that, at its best, feels like the cry of exultation Beethoven envisioned. The slightly American accent of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh is somehow not a detriment but an inducement here; there is real energy running through the performance and real joy. Reference Recordings has once again produced audiophile-quality sound whose depth and transparency are awesome even on everyday equipment.
© TiVo

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral" (Live)

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

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Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral" (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso (Live)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
00:14:30

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Manfred Honeck, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Reference Recordings (P) 2021 Reference Recordings

2
II. Scherzo. Molto vivace (Live)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
00:13:11

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Manfred Honeck, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Reference Recordings (P) 2021 Reference Recordings

3
III. Adagio molto e cantabile (Live)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
00:12:34

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Manfred Honeck, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Reference Recordings (P) 2021 Reference Recordings

4
IV. Finale. Presto (Live)
Christina Landshamer
00:22:29

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Werner Güra, Artist, MainArtist - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Manfred Honeck, Conductor, MainArtist - Jennifer Johnson Cano, Artist, MainArtist - Christina Landshamer, Artist, MainArtist - Shenyang, Artist, MainArtist - The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2021 Reference Recordings (P) 2021 Reference Recordings

Album Description

Conductor Manfred Honeck and his Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recorded this live reading of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, in 2019. The marketplace was not exactly crying out for a new Beethoven's Ninth, even considering Honeck's strong track record in Classical-era repertory and Reference Recordings' increasingly fine results in Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall. However, it is absolutely worth experiencing Honeck's accomplishment here. The reading is distinctive and justified at length in a booklet essay by Honeck. His reading is fast, blazing, kinetic, with moments of high contrast, such as the ethereal third movement in its entirety, giving the listener breathing space. The first movement is quick, but Honeck relaxes the tempo just slightly as things proceed, making room for the brass to give their stentorian statements. The scherzo is very fast throughout, which has the effect of not stealing the delicate discourse from the slow movement, and the finale, though also fast, is never rushed. There is a certain logic in playing the work this way, inasmuch as the impossible-to-sing passages in the solos become just a bit less impossible at these speeds. Most impressive is that Honeck holds the musicians and the singers together at his blazing speeds; his 22:30 timing for the finale comes in more than two minutes faster than, say, Fritz Reiner's classic Chicago Symphony recording, and Honeck would have been even faster had he not offered a rather deliberate reading of the movement's recitative introduction. The soloists shine, and they deliver in a difficult reading that, at its best, feels like the cry of exultation Beethoven envisioned. The slightly American accent of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh is somehow not a detriment but an inducement here; there is real energy running through the performance and real joy. Reference Recordings has once again produced audiophile-quality sound whose depth and transparency are awesome even on everyday equipment.
© TiVo

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