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Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky – Sp No. 4 – Johnathan Leshnoff (Live) (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky – Sp No. 4 – Johnathan Leshnoff (Live) (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:01:05 minutes | 1,92 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Reference Recordings

One salutary aspect of the tendency of orchestras, especially American and British ones, to issue their live concerts on recordings is that standout performances tend to be picked. The performance here of the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36, was recorded in 2016, but it clearly stuck in some heads and was identified as a worthwhile moment (the Double Concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff was recorded three years later; this live album doesn’t represent a single concert). It is indeed special: the Symphony No. 4 has rarely received such an intense performance. It’s not the speed; conductor Manfred Honeck comes in a minute slower than Mariss Jansons on the first movement of his Oslo Philharmonic recording, but there is still a feeling of urgency, amplified by slight changes to the score that Honeck details in his expansive liner notes (available on the Chandos label’s website for downloaders and streamers) and by a general high-contrast approach to dynamics. Listeners will have to make their own decisions about these, but it’s quite arguable that Honeck does nothing that a conductor of the late 19th or early 20th century might have also considered. The Pittsburgh Symphony is in fine form in the symphony’s thrilling brass passages and in the all-pizzicato strings of the third movement. The accompanying Double Concerto for clarinet and bassoon by Leshnoff is also a pleasure: a neo-Romantic work agreeably written and elegantly performed by soloists Michael Rusinek and Nancy Goeres. The live engineering in the acoustically difficult Tchaikovsky, from Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, is very fine.

Tracklist

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893): Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, TH 27:

1 Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, TH 27: I. Andante sostenuto – Moderato con anima (Live)
2 Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, TH 27: II. Andantino in modo di canzona (Live)
3 Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, TH 27: III. Scherzo. Allegro (Live)
4 Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, TH 27: IV. Finale. Allegro con fuoco (Live)

Jonathan Leshnoff (b. 1973): Double Concerto for Clarinet & Bassoon:

5 Double Concerto for Clarinet & Bassoon: I. — (Live)
6 Double Concerto for Clarinet & Bassoon: II. — (Live)
7 Double Concerto for Clarinet & Bassoon: III. — (Live)

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