Brahms Symphony no. 2 (2014)

Brahms

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Ivan Fischer

A remarkable, transparent purity can be heard in Brahms’s Second symphony. It is a sharp contrast to the huge arsenal of ideas collected in the First Symphony, which Brahms had worked on for many years. Here in his Second he shows us his masterful skill in developing large-scale architecture from the simplest motifs. To give the first of these to the horns is a logical choice; Brahms always used natural horns and resisted the more modern instruments. Horns can ideally explore the purest of all musical ideas: the journey through the overtones.
Similar purity is present in all the themes. When at the start the basses step down a semitone and step back again, nobody could guess what a rich new world would develop from this cell. The last movement is also built on a simple tool: repeated, equal notes follow each other in regimental order (a classical tradition often heard in final movements by Haydn or Mozart). Is this Brahms’s most nature-related symphony? Considering the complicated organisms that develop from the simplest cells, yes, it is. Brahms certainly has the divine, creative talent to show us how this process can work in music.
Iván Fischer

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Budapest Festival Orchestra

Ivan Fischer is founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The partnership between Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra has proved to be one of the greatest success stories in the past three decades of classical music. Intense international touring and a series of acclaimed recordings for Philips Classics, later for Channel Classics have contributed to Iván Fischer's reputation as one of the world's most visionary and successful orchestra leaders.

He has developed and introduced new types of concerts, "Cocoa-Concerts” for young children, "Midnight Music” concerts for students, "Surprise” concerts where the programme is not announced, "One Forint Concerts” where he talks to the audience, open-air concerts in Budapest attracting tens of thousands of people. He has founded several festivals, including a summer festival in Budapest on baroque music and the Budapest Mahlerfest which is also a forum for commissioning and presenting new compositions.

As a guest conductor Fischer works with the finest symphony orchestras of the world. He has been invited to the Berlin Philharmonic more than ten times, he leads every year two weeks of programs with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and appears with leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Earlier music director of Kent Opera and Lyon Opera, Principal Conductor of National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, his numerous recordings have won several prestigious international prizes.

Ivan Fischer studied piano, violin, cello and composition in Budapest, continuing his education in Vienna in Professor Hans Swarowsky’s conducting class. Recently he has been also active as a composer: his works have been performed in the US, Holland, Hungary, Germany and Austria, and he staged successful opera performances.

Mr. Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society, and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services to help international cultural relations. The French Government named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. He is honorary citizen of Budapest. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Award and the Dutch Ovatie prize. In 2013 he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

As of August 2011 Ivan Fischer is music director of the Konzerthaus Berlin and principal conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.

Ivan Fischer

Ivan Fischer is founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. The partnership between Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra has proved to be one of the greatest success stories in the past three decades of classical music. Intense international touring and a series of acclaimed recordings for Philips Classics, later for Channel Classics have contributed to Iván Fischer's reputation as one of the world's most visionary and successful orchestra leaders.

He has developed and introduced new types of concerts, "cocoa-concerts" for young children, "Midnight Music" concerts for students, "surprise" concerts where the programme is not announced, "one forint concerts" where he talks to the audience, open-air concerts in Budapest attracting tens of thousands of people. He has founded several festivals, including a summer festival in Budapest on baroque music and the Budapest Mahlerfest which is also a forum for commissioning and presenting new compositions.

As a guest conductor Fischer works with the finest symphony orchestras of the world. He has been invited to the Berlin Philharmonic more than ten times, he leads every year two weeks of programs with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and appears with leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Earlier music director of Kent Opera and Lyon Opera, Principal Conductor of National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, his numerous recordings have won several prestigious international prizes.

Ivan Fischer studied piano, violin, cello and composition in Budapest, continuing his education in Vienna in Professor Hans Swarowsky’s conducting class. Recently he has been also active as a composer: his works have been performed in the US, Holland, Hungary, Germany and Austria, and he staged successful opera performances.

Mr. Fischer is a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society, and Patron of the British Kodály Academy. He received the Golden Medal Award from the President of the Republic of Hungary, and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for his services to help international cultural relations. The French Government named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 he was honored with the Kossuth Prize, Hungary’s most prestigious arts award. He is honorary citizen of Budapest. In 2011 he received the Royal Philharmonic Award and the Dutch Ovatie prize. In 2013 he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

As of August 2011 Ivan Fischer is music director of the Konzerthaus Berlin and principal conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.

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Brahms Symphony no. 2 (2014)

Brahms

Budapest Festival Orchestra

    Herold Scotland (top 20 classical recordings 2015, no.10)

Ivan Fischer’s Brahms is intense, alive, inquisitive and rooted in tradition. His great Budapest orchestra sounds lithe and full of character, and I love thay it’s still possible to hear exactly where this band comes from.

    Classical Net

"The sound is beautiful and the Budapest Festival forces produce a rich and earthy sound that suits the composer quite well. Fischer gives us a splendid account..."

    American Record Guide

"This is a very fine performance."

    Cuttingedge.be

Brahms’ tweede symfonie wordt een lust voor het oor, een avontuur ook, integer maar tegelijk groots, heroïsch doch ook bescheiden. (...) lyrische ontboezemingen, vreugdevolle escapades en energieke erupties (...) zoveel oprecht engagement: het is, zelfs onder top orkesten, een zeldzaamheid.

    Diapason D’Or

(...) Sérénité glorieuse (...)

    NRC -

Iván Fischer is een autonoom, door velen zelfs als visionair omarmd dirigent (...) In de Tweede leidt de Brahms-aanpak van Fischer en het BFO na een architecturaal, gedoseerd opgebouw Allegro tot een gloeiend Adagio, swingende bassen in het Presto en een ritmisch messcherp Allegretto.

    The Guardian

(...) intense freshness and lyricism from Fischer and hist Budapest forces. (...) Fisher is superb at clarifying the textures (...) The Tragic and Academic overtures round off a really original disc.

    HVT

(...) wat een uitvoering en muziek! Je mag me er wakker voor maken. (...)

    CdChoice

(...) That the Budapest Festival Orchestra is in superlative form here is clear from the opening of the work (...) What perhaps is most remarkable about this reading is the sense that, as with so many recordings with Iván Fischer, he has approached this symphony as if it was a new discovery for him. (...) Brahms's two contrasting Overtures make ideal fill-ups to the Symphony and they are both given performances that are equally outstanding (...) In short, this is a disc with impressive performances so thoroughly prepared, expertly executed and superbly recorded that one could not reasonably ask for more. Unreservedly recommended.

    SinfiniMusic

The Budapest Festival Orchestra finds a natural outlet for their rich, Central European tone-colour in Brahms' Symphony no. 2 (...)

    Opusklassiek

(...) we mogen vaststellen dat hier een schitterend orkest aan het werk is, dat de partituur staat als een huis, dat het opnameteam een prachtprestatie heeft geleverd en dat Fischer een uiterst muzikale kijk op deze symfonie heeft, met menig schitterend doorkijkje. (...)

Brahms Symphony no. 2 (2014)

Brahms

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Grimm A/D DSD converter
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer:Hein Dekker
Recording Engineer:Hein Dekker, Jared Sacks
Recording location:Budapest Hungary
Recording Software:Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64

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33514: Brahms Symphony no. 2
01:07:45   Select quality & channels above
Tracks
1.
Symphony no. 2 - Allegro non troppo
Brahms
00:20:06   Select quality & channels above
2.
Symphony no. 2 - Adagio non troppo
Brahms
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3.
Symphony no. 2 - allegretto grazioso
Brahms
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4.
Symphony no. 2 - Presto ma non assai
Brahms
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5.
Tragic Overture in d
Brahms
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6.
Academic Festival Overture
Brahms
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