More info about shipping


More info about rates & qualities

Mahler - Symphony No. 1

Budapest Festival Orchestra


SKU: 33112

Year of release: 2012

1. Langsam. Schleppend. - Immer Gemächlich Mahler 16:36
2. Kräftig Bewegt, Doch Nicht Zu Schnell Mahler 08:09
3. Feierlich Und Gemessen, Ohne Zu Schleppen Mahler 10:44
4. Stürmisch Bewegt Mahler 20:15
Total time: 55:45

About this album

‘In full sail’ (Mahler’s original title for the second movement) could be a motto for the whole symphony. Here is the young Mahler, full of optimism. We hear his loveof nature and beauty, and his childhood memories. Fragments of distant military music, birdsong and Yiddish folk tunes come to his yet untormented mind. These episodes are real jewels, especially the Viennese trio in the second movement, the briefKlezmer music, then the Schubert-like Lied (did he have the Lindenbaum in mind?) in thethird; and the poetic, gentle melody that interrupts the stormy final movement.Admirable too is the architecture, as the composer completes his journey from hell to paradise, “dall’inferno al paradiso”, in the footsteps of his idol Beethoven. Mahler was in his late twenties when the world made acquaintance with his first symphony. It was in the Hungarian capital Budapest, and circumstances were difficult.In the diffuse acoustics of the Vigadó Hall, surrounded by hatred and mistrust, Mahler experienced his first major flop. Since then, at each performance I feel that we Hungarians have a moral duty to convince audiences that this is a perfect and exceptionally beautiful masterpiece. Iván Fischer

Download booklet



De Telegraaf

een weergaloze opname (…) en wat laat Fischer de zwaartekracht hier fascinerend zijn werk doen. Na de verpletterende finale mag de constatering luiden dat Mahlers Eerste als nieuw uit de was komt. (…)

Presto Classical

Is another recording really necessary? Happily, when it involves Iván Fischer and The Budapest Festival Orchestra, the answer is a resounding yes! (...) There’s a wonderfully Hungarian character to the sound in a lot of places, especially in the woodwind and brass. (...) By bringing to the fore touches such as the cheeky, Klezmer-like clarinets, the oompah of the bass drum and cymbals, and exaggerated violin glissandos, Fischer succeeds in creating that rustic, unrefined feel more than most recordings I’ve heard.


Iván Fischer opens the first movement with great delicacy as if Nature herself were setting the pace and the recording allows us to savour that delicacy, especially in 24/96 mode. Later, however, as everything bursts fully into life at the end of the movement, natura naturans, there’s plenty of power where it’s needed. (…) recording of the month

BBC Music Magazine

Eloquence in all departmenets was to be expected from Iván Fischer and his hyper-alert Hungarians. (...) The recording, perfect from the gleam of ländlers and lullabies through the final bass-heavy thunder, plays its part in a vivid interpretation which deserves a place of honour alongside those of Leonard Bernstein, Mariss Jansons and Rafael Kubelik.


The opening section, which depicts the world coming to life in the morning is the sonic equivalent of watching something on the National Geographic Channel with a 55-inch TV. (...) It’s Fischer’s busyness that speaks so directly to our time-challenged lives. It’s the power of his musical vision that causes us to stop and go, oh, wow, what was that? And I guess that’s what we need.


Er is op deze planeet geen beter orkest dan Budapest Festival Orchestra onder zijn chef en stichter Iván Fischer. (...) niks kan tegen de virtuoze gulheid en het kamermuziekachtige samenspel van de Hongaren op. (...) Indrukwekkend hoe deze musici Mahlers collages tot haast organische samenhang kneden. Of hoe liefde ook uit boxen kan komen.


Sa direction pleine de tendresse et de nostalgie est l’une des rares aujourd’hui à retrouver les racines d’un style d’Europe centrale où l’on sait aller au-delà des notes pour invoquer un paradis perdu. (…) His [Ivan Fischer’s] conducting, full of tenderness and nostalgia, is one of the rare ones today to rejoin the roots of a Central European style that knows to go beyond the notes in order to invoke a lost paradise. Diapason d’Or

Ivan Fischer and his marvellous Budapest Festival Orchestra have a already given us outstanding recordings of Mahler's 2nd, 4th and 6th. His latest recording, that of the 1st Symphony, benefits immensely from the magnificent quality of the recorded sound achieved by engineers Jared Sacks and Hein Dekker (…) As one might expect from these musicians, the tempestuous finale, with its journey from anguish to triumph, is characterised by breathtaking orchestral playing throughout. (…)one's admiration for what Fischer achieves grows with each subsequent playing of this superb recording. 5 stars

Fischer unnachahmliche Fähigkeit, den Fluss der Musik mit feinsten Rubati zugleich flüssig und äußerst schmiegsam zu gestalten, macht sich auch hier bezahlt. (...) Was die Zusammenarbeit von Iván Fischer und dem Budapest Festival Orchestra jedoch allem voran auszeichnet, ist die Liebe zum Detail. (…) In klanglicher Hinsicht ist Channel mit dieser Produktion wieder einmal ein diskographischer Diamant geglückt.

Klara’s 10

een erg fraai en vloeiend samenspel, en een bijzonder helder en transparant klankbeeld waar talloze details worden uitgelicht. (…) Een stormachtige, maar altijd perfect gecontroleerde finale sluit het geheel op indrukwekkende wijze af.


ván Fischer donne des accents populaires à la Titan de Mahler (...) le clou de cette interprétation se trouve dans le troisième mouvement : on y sent passer, comme sur une route du vieil Empire austro-hongrois, un cortège de tsiganes, une bande de musiciens ambulants, le brouhaha d’une taverne. Avec de petites touches, Ivan Fischer sait mettre en lumière tout ça sans verser pour autant dans la vulgarité ni forcer le trait.

Classics Today

The playing on this disc is so beautiful that it will take your breath away. (…) As with all the performances from Fischer and his orchestra, conductor and ensemble operate as a single organism. (…) 10/10

Classical Music Sentinental

) the members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra produce a beauty of sound and degree of colour second to none, and the recording engineers at Channel Classics have bottled it. (…)


Fischer’s evocation of Mahler’s “ like a sound of nature” could not have been better captured by the skill of these sonic magicians. (…) one’s admiration for what Fischer achieves grows with each subsequent playing of this superb recording. Unreservedly recommended.


Fischer and his players deliver thrills and spills aplenty. (...) Charting a vast dynamic range, not a note is left unturned. (...) this recording is dizzylingly fresh.

Het Parool

De Hongaren stijgen naar grote hoogten. Dit is één van de interessantste en muzikaal overtuigendsre opnamen van het stuk die er zijn. De stille introductie klonk zelden zo spanningsvol, de doorwerking en het tweede deel zelden zo opwindend, het trio in het scherzo nog nooit zo Joods (Mahler als klezmer-componist!) en het Vader Jacobmotief nooit zo geheimzinnig. Prachtig.

Jury rapport Edison Award Mahler 1

De combinatie Iván Fischer en Gustav Mahler is een gelukkige, dat is al vaker gebleken. Prachtige opnamen van onder meer de Vierde symfonie zijn het resultaat. Aan de overvolle cd-catalogus met uitvoeringen van de Eerste symfonie heeft Fischer met zijn eigen orkest een bijkans volmaakte interpretatie toegevoegd. Bij Fischer is het niet: kijk eens wat ik met dit stuk doe! Hij brengt wel degelijk eigen accenten aan, maar Mahlers muziek vloeit op volstrekt natuurlijke wijze. De tempi zijn ideaal, de fraseringen en dynamiek volstrekt vanzelfsprekend, alsof er tussen partituur en uitvoering geen interpretatie plaatsvindt. Voor Iván Fischer is deze Eerste symfonie de schepping van een jonge, optimistische Mahler die vol liefde is voor natuur en schoonheid. En dat is precies wat je in deze uitvoering hoort: stralend zonlicht. Ver weg zijn donkere schaduwen die bij andere dirigenten wel eens over deze partituur vallen. Fischer wordt geholpen door een prachtig spelend Boedapest Festival Orkest (met warme hoorns en zijdezachte strijkers) en een sensationele opname die ruimtelijk is maar toch transparant, zodat ook de zachtste passages volop tot hun recht komen. Mahlers Eerste symfonie beleefde in 1889 een rampzalige première in Boedapest, maar Iván Fischer en zijn musici zorgen 124 jaar later voor een glorieuze revanche.

La prise de son offre à l’Orchestre du Festival de Budapest un confort d’expression qui transforme en velour’s la sonorité de chaque instrument. (…)


“This is the most gorgeously sonorous version of the symphony I've heard since Maurice Abravanel's with the Utah Symphony. Fischer gives us velvety violins (divided left and right), warm and mellow winds, and glowing brass...This is a perceptive and unique interpretation, to which I have listened six times yet feel that I am just scratching the surface.”


Fischer and company give us one of best recordings of the work currently available. (…) First thing that catches your attention is the incredible dynamic range of the recording. This is a work that opens with a whisper and closes with a roar and every note is captured with stunning realism. The phrase “demonstration quality sound” is tossed around quite a bit, but this recording is the real deal. (…)This may be one of the most classically perfect Mahler Firsts ever. (…) This is stunning on every level.

Conductor Iván Fischer, in his notes to this new recording with his elite Budapest Festival Orchestra, writes that ever since “at each performance we Hungarians have a moral duty to convince audiences that this is a perfect and exceptionally beautiful masterpiece.” Mission accomplished! This is a performance of remarkable sensitivity, ranging from the intimacy of chamber music to the most powerful, heaven-storming explosions, masterfully recorded in first class studio sound. The dynamic range is exceptionally vivid, tempos are flexible without ever becoming neurotic and the interpretation is thoroughly convincing throughout. The near doubling of the tempo in the closing pages provides a novel and exhilarating conclusion to a truly admirable performance, one of the very best I’ve heard in decades.


Right from the beginning, Fischer combs through every nuance in Mahler’s score, his brilliant rendering of orchestral sonorities – both individually and blended – deftly recorded by Channel. The first movement alone confirms Fischer’s growing credentials as a major Mahler interpreter.


Es ist eine wahre Freude, dieser Mahler-Interpretation zu lauschen (...) Es ist, kein Zweifel, ein abgeklärter Mahler, den die Budapester präsentieren, aber einer, der sich im Spektrum der vorliegenden Interpretationen aufgrund seiner ganz unbestreitbaren Vorzuge behaupten wird.

Audiophile Audition

It is one smooth performance, almost hyper-rich in its luxuriant feeling, and the spectacular surround makes us hear things we simply don’t hear in other recordings. The balance is exceptional and palpably deep in scope, an orchestra as it was meant to be heard. 5 stars

Preis de Schallplattenkritik

Iván Fischer und sein Budapest Festival Orchestra stellen hier zum wiederholten Mal unter Beweis, dass sie zur internationalen Spitze gehören. Diese Einspielung von Gustav Mahlers erster Symphonie besticht durch dunkle, warme Orchesterfarben und gemäßigte Tempi, die gleichwohl den großen spannungsvollen Bogen zulassen: Dynamische Kontrastierung, akribische Detailarbeit sind eingebettet in die ruhige Souveränität des Musizierens. Und alles, was man von Mahlers Erster erwartet, ist fein herausgearbeitet: Naturlaute, folkloristische Anklänge, Liedzitate, böhmische Impressionen.

Technical Specifications

Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
SpeakersAudiolab, Holland
Recording SoftwarePyramix bij Merging
Recording LocationThe Palace of Arts Budapest Hungary 2012
Recording EngineerHein Dekker, Jared Sacks
ProducerHein Dekker
Mixing BoardRens Heijnis custom design
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mastering EquipmentB&W 803 diamond series
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Digital ConvertersGrimm A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Cablesvan den Hul T3 series