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Brahms Symphony no. 4

Budapest Festival Orchestra


SKU: 35315

Year of release: 2015

1. Allegro non troppo Brahms 13:17
2. Andante moderato Brahms 11:15
3. Allegretto giocoso Brahms 06:30
4. Allegro energico e passionato Brahms 10:39
5. Hungarian dances: no. 11 in D minor Brahms 03:59
6. Instrumental folk music from the region of Sic Brahms 01:22
7. Hungarian dances no. 3 in F minor Brahms 02:22
8. Hungarian dances no. 7 in A minor Brahms 01:56
Total time: 51:24

About this album

 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
‘When we played the Hungarian Dance no. 3 by Brahms I realised that I usually play this music, or its direct source, as the repertoire of a particular region of Transylvania known as Szék/Sic* csárdás. Szék/Sic is a Hungarian village in Transylvania; the csárdás, typical of this region, is played in the middle of a lengthy dancing scheme or suite lasting up to 40-50 minutes, besides various other csárdás melodies. Even today the people of Szék/Sic enjoy listening to this music during holidays and weekend gatherings; it consists mainly of folk songs, and the villagers like to sing along to them.’István Kádár, violin
*‘Szék’ is the Hungarian and ‘Sic’ is the Rumanian name of the village.

Download booklet


De Gelderlander

Iván Fischer en zijn Budapest Festival Orchestra zijn geknipt voor het romantisch repertoire. Al jaren. Hun vertolking van Brahms’ Vierde symfonie klinkt soepel, to the point en vooral heel gepassioneerd. (...)


Zelden heb ik de drie eerste delen zo mooi licht en onbezorgd gehoord. (...)

Het Parool

(...) Het zit hem in de dynamiek van de tussen stemmen waardoor alles een nieuw aanzicht krijgt. Dat houdt Fischer de hele symfonie vol. (...) En wat spelen de musici prachtig. (...) Dan de Hongaarse dansen nr. 11, 3 en 8, nog nooit zo Hongaars en met zo’n onnavolgbare subtiliteit horen spelen.

(...) Hier begegnet einem maximale Klarheit auf allen Ebenen: interpretatorisch, intonatorisch und tontechnisch. Selbst die sperrig instrumentierten ‚polternden‘ Passagen in der Kopfsatzdurchführung erklingen hier so ausbalanciert, dass alle Sperrigkeit sich in Wohlgefallen auflöst.

Opus Klassiek

(...) schitterend orkestspel, een uiterst doorzichtig klankbeeld (...)

BBC Music Magazine

(...) Intimacy on a grand scale (...) This is an orchestra whose players listen to each other intently. (...) Iván Fischer keeps the larger picture in focus.

Technical Specifications

Recording SoftwareMerging
Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
Recording LocationBudapest Hungary
Recording EngineerJared Sacks, Hein Dekker
ProducerHein Dekker
Mixing BoardRens Heijnis custom made
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mastering EquipmentB&W 803 diamond,
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Digital ConvertersGrimm A/D
Cablesvan den Hul