The partnership between Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra has proved to be one of the greatest success stories in classical music. On their latest recording for Channel Classics, these great artists present a new perspective on Schubert s powerful and romantic ninth symphony. As a contrast to the majestic sounds of the Great C Major, Fischer s pairing is a charming early work, the Five German Dances. As usual, Channel provides masterful sonic engineering that compliments the performers consummate musicality.
Hybrid SACD - DSD
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I won't recommend this over the already established, 'classic' recordings of Schubert's 9th from the past - and with such diverse interpretive viewpoints - such as Furtwaengler, Konwitschny, Munch, Karajan, Bernstein/Concertgebouw, or Sawallisch/Dresden (more for the great playing of the Staatskapelle). But for anyone wanting a perfectly fine Schubert 9 with truly up-to-date, 'state of the art' sonics, look no further than here. The inclusion of the "Five German Dances" is a plus also. In fact, Fischer makes a subtle nod to the past, right at the very beginning of the symphony, via the usage of a valveless 'natural horn' for the opening solo. In addition, Fischer makes the effort to sustain a more 'Viennese' sound by using small C-clarinets and narrow bore trombones. These adjustments in the instrumentation may seem like an overly technical point, but I believe that one can notice the difference in the opening horn solo quite clearly.
It's nice when image and reality merge, as they do here. Ivan Fischer established is reputation originally by organizing Hungary's first orchestra that was competitive internationally; he won sympathy after the fall of the Soviet Empire, when Hungary could breathe free at last, and he repaid that good will with fresh interpretations of Bartok that stand up well today. He's moved on to standard repertoire with the same instinct for freshness, and in London circles nothing he does can get a bad review - we are even assured that the Budapest Festival Orch. is a great ensemble, although on the strength of hearing them, I'd rank them on the same level as cincinnati and Pittsburgh, Not the London Sym. or the New York Philharmonic. (I'm also bemused that Fischer is so sensitive about being bald. Almost every publicity photo shows him either in a hat or with his pate cut out of the frame, as on this cover.)
I may be irked by the hype that has inflated Fischer and his orchestra, but...
Excellent reading by Fischer and his BFO. I thoroughly enjoy Fischer's reading of the 9th. I'm a big fan of Krips and Walter in this work, but I found new things to like with the BFO. This is very tuneful Schubert, played with wonderful dedication and artistry. And the recording quality is quite fine. Don't hesitate.
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