New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

February 19, 2013

Symphony delivers quality to New Castle

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra delivered another world-class performance at the Scottish Rite Cathedral on Saturday.

Manfred Honeck, principal conductor, presented an all-Russian program that had just the right balance for a New Castle audience.

Honeck’s conducting was “lean and clean” and his great passion for the music was evident in each piece. Denis Matsuev, piano soloist for the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 2, played expertly and did not overwhelm, but performed as a well-balanced partner with the orchestra.

How fortunate we were to hear a pianist of international stature.

Who could resist the gorgeous melodies of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky as played ever so richly by the strings and wind players? It is music of a bygone era, but not one that should be forgotten.

The only negative observation is that sometimes maestro Honeck had the orchestra play so softly that it was difficult to hear. But what a great relief from the ear-shattering sound so common today among pop music groups.

We are fortunate to have the PSO in our hometown for these concerts. While it would be nice to have a fuller audience, those of us who attended are grateful to all those who made this event possible, including the media sponsors: the New Castle News and 88.5 FM WYSU.

Ken Phillips

Orchard Park Drive

Neshannock Township

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