Tchaikovsky & Schulhoff: Orchestral Works

Tchaikovsky & Schulhoff: Orchestral Works

The finale of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony is often presented as straightforwardly triumphalist, but conductor Manfred Honeck sees much more in it than that. There’s a hint of panic in the frenetic tempo he sets for the movement’s principal march theme, the accents cutting sharply through like strokes from a saber. In the symphony’s opening movement Honeck ekes psychological complexity from the dark-hued opening material, with richly textured contributions from the Pittsburgh string players. The famous horn solo in the second movement is another highlight, hovering dreamlike in the ether. Erwin Schulhoff’s taut, sharply colored 5 Pieces are performed here as a stimulating bonus. The sound quality is outstanding, revealing details of instrumentation that are often swamped in less sophisticated recordings.

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