For Immediate Release:
May 18, 2022
Contact: Julie Goetz, Director of Communications



Works connect composers, music, nature, respite and renewal

Available in Pittsburgh: May 18, 2022
Available worldwide: June 10, 2022

PITTSBURGH—The deeply intertwined relationship between music and the natural world is at the heart of both Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral,” and Steven Stucky’s Silent Spring, two works that are paired together in the eagerly awaited new recording released by Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on the Reference Recordings label. The recording will be available worldwide on June 10, 2022. 

“Though separated in composition by 200 years, the enduring qualities of beauty, respite and vitality that connect nature and music are at the heart of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral” and Steven Stucky's Silent Spring, a pair of works that beautifully complement each other in musical quality and provide inspiration to seek out experiences with nature in our world,” said Manfred Honeck, Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

The exceptional performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 and Steven Stucky’s Silent Spring were recorded at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh in superb audiophile sound and accompanied again by meticulous music notes from Manfred Honeck, who gives special insight into his conducting and interpretation, as well as the history and musical structure of Beethoven’s beloved Pastoral Symphony.

Steven Stucky’s Silent Spring was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book Silent Spring, the seminal work by Pittsburgh native Rachel Carson. It had its world premiere performance in February 2012 at Heinz Hall. The composer’s thoughts about his work are also included in the album notes. Steven Stucky writes, “Music aspires to (and my Silent Spring aspires to) grant us access to our deepest emotional places, to that region where—beyond words, beyond numbers, beyond theories and proofs—we live our fullest lives.”

In the liner notes, Manfred Honeck draws attention to Beethoven’s admiration of nature not only for his peace and quiet as a sanctuary from the noise of the city, but also where he drew on the silence to inspire new artistic creativity and inner strength. “In the Sixth Symphony, we see before us a Beethoven who is not merely a radiant hero, but a man obliged to express profound thanks in pure and complete harmony with both nature and God,” Honeck writes.

With the release, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony invite listeners to draw inspiration from the composers, and to find beauty, respite and renewal in nature, and through a website page——have made suggestions and provided links for enjoying nature in parks, trails and other green spaces in the Pittsburgh area and United States national parks. Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony make note that the two works and the Orchestra are also connected by rivers:

  • Beethoven's Sixth Symphony was composed in the Nussdorf and Grinzing suburbs of Vienna, between which the Schreiberbach River flows.
  • Pittsburgh sits at the confluence of the three rivers: the Ohio, the Allegheny and the Monongahela.
  • Rachel Carson's homestead overlooks the Allegheny River in the Pittsburgh suburb Springdale.

This release is the thirteenth in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series of multi­channel hybrid SACD releases on the FRESH! imprint from Reference Recordings. This series has received GRAMMY® Nominations in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022. Its recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5 /Barber Adagio for Strings won the 2018 GRAMMY® Awards for Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Classical Album. 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 130 GRAMMY® nominations and awards.” Reference Recordings, founded in 1976 in San Francisco, has multiple GRAMMY® awards and a catalog that includes numerous American and international orchestras, ensembles and choruses. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings’ mission to encourage unique and fine artists and give them a strong platform for promotion and sales nationally and internationally.

Reference Recordings are distributed in North America by Naxos USA, and internationally through a network of independent distributors listed at:

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recordings are made possible by a generous grant from BNY Mellon.