Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony have ways of digging into the music and providing new perspectives on it such that their recordings are, by and large, can’t-miss events.
Manfred Honeck’s one of the finest and most exciting Beethoven conductors around, but his interpretive decisions result in an account of the Ninth’s climactic sequence that comes over as episodic and mannered.
François-Xavier Roth and his period ensemble Les Siècles serve up freshness of playing and conviction of interpretation; Manfred Honeck is a conductor who can draw compelling, electrifying accounts of the standard canon as if on cue; the verdict’s mixed on the music of Lithuanian-born composer Mikalojus Čiurlionis.
JoAnn Falletta’s recording of Schreker’s orchestral works is fantastic; Manfred Honeck and his Pittsburgh Symphony make Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony shocking again, and Baiba Skride proves a strong advocate for Miklós Rózsa’s Violin Concerto.
This is truly exciting, world-beating Beethoven, played with gusto and a kind of musical intelligence that you simply can’t take for granted.