Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer – Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 4; Hungarian Dances 3, 7 & 11 (2015) DSF DSD64

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan Fischer – Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 4; Hungarian Dances 3, 7 & 11 (2015)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 00:51:15 minutes | 2,02 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDMusic |  © Channel Classics Records B.V.

What a wonderful start: a fragmented melody like a hovering leaf blown up and down by the wind. Never has tenderness been composed more movingly. And what a magnificant ending of the same movement: extreme tenderness is matched by extreme drama which grows and grows to gigantic expression. Brahms is not restrained anymore in his last symphony. After the fun and vitality of the third movement the final passacaglia is much more than a sequence of variations. We experience a huge range of dark emotions: from the lonely lamentation of the flute to the defiant, tragic ending. There is no room for the usual jubilation or the usual modulation to a major key. Brahms finishes his symphonic work with prophetic foreboding heralding Spengler’s Der Untergang des Abendlandes (The Decline of the West). –Iván Fischer

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. –AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson


Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, opus 98 (1886)
1 I. Allegro non troppo 13.07
2 II. Andante moderato 11.08
3 III. Allegretto giocoso 6.24
4 IV. Allegro energico e passionato 10.29
5 Hungarian dances: no. 11 in D minor 4.00
6 Instrumental folk music from the region of Sic. 1.22
(original melody used by Brahms in his 3rd Hungarian Dance)
István Kádár violin, András Szabó viola, Attila Martos bass
(members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra)
7 Hungarian dances: no. 3 in F minor 2.21
8 Hungarian dances: no. 7 in A minor 1.55

Budapest Festival Orchestra
Iván Fischer, conductor

Recorded: Palace of Arts, Budapest, April 2013


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