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Symphonies - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Best known for performing music by modern Hungarian composers such as Bartók and Kódaly, and also for his numerous Mozart recordings in the 1990s, Iván Fischer takes a surprising turn in his repertoire by recording Mahler's Symphony No. 6 in A minor, "Tragic," with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, a bold undertaking for any maestro, but one for which he is well-prepared. Fischer has performed Mahler live on many occasions, and has devoted considerable time to studying the music before committing an interpretation to disc, so his 2005 Channel Classics release cannot be called careless or hastily planned. This symphony may not be as difficult to interpret and perform as are others of Mahler's gargantuan essays, but because expectations are high among devotees, Fischer has a tough job pleasing the cognoscenti. (Curiously, many obsessive Mahlerians have a marked preference for this work, possibly because it is the most coherent and powerful of the purely instrumental symphonies. Fischer's performance can be enjoyed as one of the best sounding to come along in years -- the nuances in the brass and percussion are especially marvelous -- and it can be taken as one of the most reasoned and thoughtful interpretations as well. Fischer aims for clarity and balance, and gets a transparent reading from the BFO that reveals every note. Yet a real feeling for Mahler's exaggerated emotional world seems to be lacking, and when the music should be wildly hysterical, appallingly grotesque, and running headlong toward catastrophe, Fischer's version keeps safely back from the edge of the abyss, dusts itself off, and reminds us that it is, after all, only a symphony, not the end of the world. Alas, the great recordings of the Symphony No. 6 actually do sound like the end of the world, and can almost create physical sensations of heartache and terror. This recording, however well it sounds and despite its many interesting features, has no such power, and is much less gripping than it should have been.
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Gioachino Rossini is most readily associated with opera overtures than opera -- to whom he was a major contributor -- and to some extent with sacred choral music and piano literature. Perhaps least of all he is recognized as a composer of instrumental and chamber music; while he did not produce an inconsiderable amount in these areas, much of his symphonies, concertante-styled works, and chamber music is early and simply cannot keep their pride of place in comparison with his far mightier operas. Nevertheless, Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra have found much to admire in this neglected area of Rossini's efforts, and have recorded the Super Audio CD Gioacchino Rossini: Instrumental Music for Channel Classics. It includes two opera overtures, from La Scala di Seta and Semiramide, the first of his six String Sonatas in G major, two sets of variations, and a Serenata for rather odd combinations of instruments and finally a fanfare for four horns. The recording quality is strikingly immediate and forward, and the playing crisp and very professional. However, there is a rather bland, formal, and conservative feeling to most of it; the explosive excitement that kicks the disc off with the Overture to La Scala di Seta doesn't take hold and most of the rest comes off like a set of rather polite and uninteresting set pieces. There is a little peak of interest when the Andante, e Tema con Variazioni begins, owing to soloist Ákos Ács' lovely clarinet tone and the unanimity of the wind doublings, though once the piece gets rolling the same sense of ennui returns. It is not Rossini's music that's the issue here; certainly the string sonatas have been recorded as a set numerous times, perhaps most successfully by I Musici. The problem is that while Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra achieve great precision and discipline in this music, they lack inspiration; tempi are sluggish and the sparkle one usually encounters in Rossini's music is reduced to a dull glint. While the basic idea of putting together a program of Rossini's purely instrumental compositions -- and therefore providing an alternative to the mountains of CDs devoted to his opera overtures -- is a good one, as a vehicle for that, Channel Classics' Super Audio CD Gioacchino Rossini: Instrumental Music is simply out of gas.

Symphonic Music - Released December 1, 2017 | Aeolus

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released February 24, 2017 | Aeolus

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released March 1, 2015 | Solstice

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released February 15, 2015 | Solstice

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 1998 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonic Music - Released April 1, 2014 | Seattle Symphony Media

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Symphonies - Released March 10, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released February 25, 2014 | Zig-Zag Territoires

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Symphonic Music - Released August 12, 2009 | Warner Classics International

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