An Interview with Music Director Manfred Honeck-Pittsburgh Symphony Insider
Yesterday I listened to this web-based interview. Manfred Honeck first spoke of the PSO China concerts, and an upcoming Lucerne concert.
He was asked next about his Austrian traditional background and the upcoming Strauss concerts over Thanksgiving.
I found it very interesting Honeck's discussion of Beethoven and specifically how tempos such as
'andante' changed over 20 years during Beethoven's time. That it was first slow, and then later quicker, more like 'andantino'. He indicated that one should be careful to know which tradition existed at the time. This transitioned into his discussion of the Strauss waltzes, that Strauss can be difficult to perform -perhaps it cannot be played the way it was written, and that every bar must have its own tempo – the style must be based on tradition. I anticipate this music during the upcoming season.
He also mentioned the Mozart Requiem, and his interpretation that will be used for an upcoming concert also this season. Mozart died during the composition of this piece. Much of the discussion was around the count who commissioned the piece, and who would copy the music and try to use it as his own, and eventually how Mozart's widow was able to secure the commission and the piece. Most interesting was the discussion of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's setting of Ave verum corpus (K. 618),
and how that might play into the ending of the Requiem as performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Three bells, a sound heard in Austria meaning someone has died, will toll before and after the Requiem. Listening for these elements will heighten my enthusiasm for this music this season.