Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 and Barber: Adagio for Strings!
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. Dvorak/Janacek (FR-710SACD) and Bruckner 4 (FR-713SACD) have each received GRAMMY nominations for Best Orchestral Performance.
This release and the entire Pittsburgh Live! series are recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 90 Grammy nominations and awards. For over 40 years, Soundmirror has recorded for every major classical record label, including Reference Recordings.
For 40 years, REFERENCE RECORDINGS has been one of the most innovative and respected independent labels in the music business. RR releases have been highly praised for their dedication to high quality sound in the service of great music. Founder Tam Henderson (1998 GRAMMY nominee for Producer of the Year), was joined in 1978 by engineer Keith O. Johnson. Some 145 projects later, RR is still recording what many consider to be the finest-sounding classical, jazz and blues discs in the world. Reference Recordings are distributed in North America by Naxos USA, and internationally through a network of independent distributors listed at www.referencerecordings.com.