Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck : Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 & Symphony No. 7


192kHz/24-bit FLAC, Reference Recordings FR718 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

In a lengthy booklet essay Manfred Honeck explains all his interpretative decisions: live recording, a large orchestra with divided violins, pizzicati continued right to the end of 7(ii) – as suggested to him by Kleiber when Honeck was an orchestral violinist – and various minutiae, with timing/bar reference details. He writes about changing styles since the very first recordings of No 5 in 1910/13. But – oh dear! – the motto theme in the first movement is slowed for every appearance: that’s a write-off for me, I’m afraid. There is also a distracting rhythmic pattern unearthed in the finale, 9m10s-9m 19s. A needless accelerando in the introduction apart, the Seventh is far more convincing – and Honeck does make you listen intently to both works. Soundmirror has captured the sound in a large, resonant acoustic (Heinz Hall). CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded live and also subsequently post-produced at DSD64 (2.8MHz) on a Pyramix workstation – perfect for direct release on SACD – this bitstream is evidently resampled to 192kHz for release as an LPCM download. PM