Manfred Honeck

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

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For this hybrid SACD of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra give a highly emotional and volatile reading that fans of intensely Romantic interpretations may like. The frequent use of rubato in this 2006 performance is its salient feature and one that reveals the most about this conductor's passionate approach to Tchaikovsky. Formally, the music is treated rather freely, with frequent alternations between ritardando and accelerando, so the effect is of an unstable and possibly tortured emotional state, which nonetheless is transformed into triumph at the end. The sound of this Exton recording is open and spacious, and the dynamic range is extraordinarily wide, allowing for great contrasts and powerful climaxes.

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