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Symphonic Music - Released October 16, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
As Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra progress through the symphonies of Johannes Brahms, one album at a time, the makings of a box set are becoming apparent. Not only has Fischer covered the First, Second, and now the Fourth, but the filler pieces have included the Variations on a Theme of Haydn, the Tragic Overture, the Academic Festival Overture, and assorted Hungarian Dances, giving this series the required selections for a deluxe reissue. Like the earlier recordings, the Fourth is expertly played in a mainstream interpretation, and the sound of the orchestra is rich and vibrant, sure to attract listeners who like their Brahms to have a traditional feeling. Fischer clearly communicates the intellectual and emotional sides of the symphony, and he inspires the orchestra to play with transparent textures, crisp details, and passionate intensity, producing an ideal combination. The sound of this hybrid SACD is superb, and Channel Classics' multichannel recording gives the orchestra credible presence and plenty of room to breathe. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
This is only the second installment in Iván Fischer's series of the symphonies of Johannes Brahms on Channel Classics, but it already seems that the standard box set is being planned. His 2009 release of the Symphony No. 1 in C minor was paired with the Variations on a Theme by Haydn, while this hybrid SACD presents the Symphony No. 2 in D major with the Tragic Overture and the Academic Festival Overture. Assuming the next volumes offer the Symphony No. 3 in F major and the Symphony No. 4 in E minor, with no other filler pieces, then Fischer will have completed the customary Brahms symphonic set, ready for immediate reissue. This possibility may influence prospective buyers to get the recordings in one convenient package, but Fischer's Brahms is good enough to have as the albums are being released. It's hard to argue with Fischer's interpretive choices, because he fully grasps Brahms' intellectuality as well as his deep expressiveness, and touches the emotional core of the Second Symphony with complete sympathy and clarity of purpose. The Budapest Festival Orchestra is easily inspired by Fischer, and the musicians play with the fullness of tone and rhythmic flexibility of a world-class orchestra. Add to this the extraordinary audio quality that gives the orchestra credible presence and wonderful resonance, and it's easy to understand why connoisseurs might want to snap up the separate releases and not wait for a future complete cycle. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 10, 2020 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - To be released September 4, 2020 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Channel Classics Records

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Integral collections of Beethoven’s work are coming thick and fast in the runup to 2020, the 250th anniversary of the immortal composer loved by all. Admittedly, when one is a fan, enough is never enough. But one wonders what the editors and labels will do in 2027 for the bicentenary of Beethoven’s death with a selection of musicians which is more or less the same as today’s… Since the invention of the CD, every conductor wants to leave their mark on history with their very own interpretation of the Nine Symphonies. There is nothing more exciting for critics and music lovers alike than following the different styles of each different interpretation. The path chosen by Arthur Nikisch is passionate but challenging; there is no linearity and apart from from the sound quality, there is no sense of evolution, a strange concept in art as everyone knows. Each recording is the reflection of its time period with its stars, its unfairly overlooked artists and its followers of an exacerbated romanticism or a decanted, intellectual even abstract vision. Ivan Fischer’s version (Symphonies 1 & 5 here) is remarkable first and foremost thanks to the exceptional standard of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, founded in 1983 with his fellow countryman, the late Zoltan Kocsis. Made up of the best young musicians from the distinguished Hungarian conservatoires, this orchestra has quickly made a name for itself as a top tier European ensemble thanks to rigorous hard work, which involves the practice levels of an orchestra with the stringency of chamber music. The expert versatility of the strings, the character of the wind section, the power of the brass and the dancing, rhythmic bounce give this part of an integral work a very particular charm. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released March 1, 2019 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month
Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 7 has been subject to perhaps a greater variety of interpretations than any of his other orchestral works, with a classic version by Hermann Scherchen clocking in at well under 70 minutes but one by Otto Klemperer with the New Philharmonia Orchestra lasting more than 100. Is the work a big orchestral nocturne, as its later nickname, "Song of the Night," suggested? Is it a philosophical statement? An expression of Viennese neurosis? The work seems to spill over its own boundaries in an almost random way, but analysis reveals a careful overall harmonic structure. Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer, with his closely associated Budapest Festival Orchestra, leans toward the quick end of the spectrum (it's just under 75 minutes long), but the overall tone is warm, without the histrionic surprises of Leonard Bernstein's approach to Mahler. Only in the central Scherzo is there a real bite. Sample the finale, where he lets the movement's uneasy shifts of tonality and thematic material speak for themselves rather than putting you on a careening roller coaster ride, and he emerges at the end with real sunniness. In his hands the work is something of a song of the night -- and morning. Fischer, whose younger brother Adam has also recorded this work (how's that for sibling rivalry?), has the kind of control over the orchestra that comes from long acquaintance. This offers an X factor in the recording's favor, as does Channel Classics' fine sound from the Palace of Arts in Budapest and Fischer's own extensive reflections in the booklet. A recommended version of this thorny symphony. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released May 5, 2017 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released June 22, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
With one of the very best orchestras in the world, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, one of today’s most fascinating conductor, Iván Fischer, offers one of the most beautiful recent interpretations of Mendelssohn’s integral A Midsummer Night's Dream. In other words: first the Overture, the phenomenal stroke of genius of a seventeen-year-old – one can only wonder where he discovered all of these orchestral inventions, as in 1826, templates were still rare and Berlioz had yet to enter the musical scene. Afterwards, the remaining pieces were composed sixteen years later for the theatrical presentation of Shakespeare’s play with musical interludes: thirteen very diverse pieces, ranging from the fabulous Scherzo − a masterpiece of finesse and orchestral invention – to delicious singing moments, as well as a pre-Mahler funeral march (reminiscent of Frère Jacques from Mahler’s Symphony No. 1), the overly well-known wedding march, the grotesque dance, and many more. There is little doubt that this is, if not Mendelssohn’s greatest masterpiece, at least one of his absolute pinnacle works. Presented here in a truly irresistible interpretation. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released May 20, 2015 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice