Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer – Antonin Dvorak – Symphony No. 7 & American Suite (2010) DSF DSD64

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer – Antonin Dvorak – Symphony No. 7 & American Suite (2010)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 58:05 minutes | 2,32 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDmusic | Booklet, Front Cover | © Channel Classics Records B.V.

The 7th Symphony is among the greatest masterpieces. Symphonies, which start in a minor and end in a major key, like Beethoven’s fifth, Mahler’s first and many others take us from sadness to happiness, from tragedy to jubilation. But here Dvořák sustains the D minor to the very end: he turns to D major only in the final six bars! It is an extraordinary structure, an incredible development creating irresistible excitement.
There are many hidden treasures among Dvořák’s works and it is a particular pleasure for me to present the beautiful Suite for Orchestra in A major on this disc. I think it should be performed more often in concerts, and I sincerely hope that this recording will inspire orchestras to extend their Dvořák repertoire with this composition of enchanting beauty, lyricism and freshness. —Iván Fischer

Ivan Fischer is truly ‘one on his own’, a fund of fascinating interpretative ideas which, whether or not you always agree with them, invariably make musical sense. On this new version of Dvorak’s Seventh Symphony, for example, the way he ‘lifts’ the transition into the second subject, with string lines that positively bulge nectar. The second subject itself is light and easy-going (beautiful horn playing) whereas the development section ebbs and flows despite the uneasy climate, much as it should. Just follow its course from say 4’22” through 6’47”, then for half a minute or so beyond 7’01”, and you soon realize that here we have players who, under inspired and imaginative direction, know how to shape phrases and how to control and project dynamics. Sir Charles Mackerras on his recent ‘live’ Philharmonia recording (Signum, 4/10) captures just as much of this first movement’s elemental storm and stress — the ever-volatile Kubelik in his DG Berlin recording is even more riveting — but Fischer’s consistent coaxing provides a more temperate alternative. Similarly, the Poco adagio enjoys some superb playing (gorgeous horns again at around 2’40”) and note the unexpected Mahlerian string portamento at the movement’s close.

The Scherzo’s high point is an expressive but seamless transition into the Trio (always a tricky moment) and an energetic rocket ride back again. The finale is very well judged, excitingly played too, and it was a good idea to follow the ultimately exultant Seventh Symphony with a flowing, genial account of the still to rarely played American Suite, a dance sequence that’s an ideal bedfellow, repertoire wise, for the Slavonic Dances and Legends. Competition here isn’t too strong and although I retain a fondness for Karel Sejna’s broader, grittier Czech Philharmonic account, I love the gutsy cut and thrust of the vintage Czech strings in the finale, many will prefer Fischer’s refinement and polish…. [M]andatory listening for anyone interested in Dvorak and the best of his modern interpreters. —Rob Cowan, Gramophone


Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)
Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, B. 141
1 Allegro maestoso 11.18
2 Poco adagio 10.04
3 Scherzo 7.44
4 Allegro 9.28

American Suite in A major, Op. 98b, B. 190
5 Andante con moto 4.13
6 Allegro 4.08
7 Moderato: alla Pollacca 4.46
8 Andante 3.58
9 Allegro 2.26

Budapest Festival Orchestra
Iván Fischer, conductor

Recorded: Palace of Arts, Budapest, July 2009


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