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Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5


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SKU: 39719 Category:


Symphony No. 1 in C Major Opus 21: I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 1 in C Major Opus 21: II. Andante cantabile con moto
Symphony No. 1 in C Major Opus 21: III. Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace
Symphony No. 1 in C Major Opus 21: IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Opus 67: I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Opus 67: II. Andante con moto
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Opus 67: III. Scherzo: Allegro
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Opus 67: IV. Allegro - Presto


This album represents the important journey from the classical to the romantic view of a symphony. The first symphony of Beethoven (although full of his innovative sharp accents and unusual harmonies) follows Haydn’s favourite structure: it takes us from a slow introduction and an energetic opening movement to a humorous finale. With the fifth symphony Beethoven has created a new art form. He takes us from hell to paradise, from tragedy to jubilation. The mature Beethoven is a revolutionary agitator, who wants to change the world and introduce us to an all-embracing euphoria. I have had many concerts of this work in which the doors opened at the transition to the 4th movement and the Budapest Festival Orchestra was joined on stage by local musicians, music students, turning the last movement into a giant flash mob. The romantic symphony, of which the 5th is the first and the greatest masterpiece, is a future vision of happiness, fraternity and complete freedom. We need this message today, more than ever.

Iván Fischer, conductor 


Beethoven’s First Symphony, though rooted in his classical examples Haydn and Mozart, was nothing less than a turning point in the symphonic tradition and can be seen as a fitting farewell to the eighteenth century, as an exploration of new horizons, and as an energetic statement conceived so as to surpass his esteemed predecessors. (…) The Fifth Symphony is the ultimate proof of Beethoven’s immortality. For who does not know the world-famous theme? Short-short-short-long. According to his friend and first biographer Anton Schindler, these first bars signify fate knocking at the door. He records that the composer told him: ‘I will grasp fate by the throat’.  (from: liner notes by Clemens Romijn)

Additional information


Recording date

February 2017

Mastering engineer

Jared Sacks


Merging Technologies Pyramix


Van den Hul

Mixing console

Rens Heijnis, custom design


Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps

Recording format

DSD 64

Analog to digital converter

Horus, Merging Technologies

Recording location

Palace of Arts, Budapest


Recording engineer

Jared Sacks, Assistant Recording Engineers: Daan van Aalst, Ausma Lace


Jared Sacks


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Grimm LS1

Press reviews

Fono Forum 4 out of 5

(…) Hier wird ohne Zweifel engagiert und mit viel Liebe zum Detail musiziert (…)

Gramophone HiFi Section_ April 2020

Iván Fischer’s account of Beethoven’s Fifth shines in Channel Classics’ choice of DSD formats, while the multichannel versions are even more immersive.

Classics Today

(…) It’s just very well played, very well engineered, sensibly interpreted Beethoven. (…)

MusicWeb International

(…) Fischer and Beethoven are saying in this work, “Expect the unexpected.” (…) Stylishly played with a refreshing emphasis on Beethoven’s elegance and finesse, albeit that his boisterous side is a little understated. (…)


Iván Fischer leads a polished and powerful account of Beethoven’s Fifth (…) he gives the music both tautness and swagger (…)

Luister 8 6.25 out of 5

(…) Fischers Beethoven wordt gekenmerkt door een uiterst zorgvuldige uitwerking aan details en een maximale zorg om de balans. Zijn enthousiasme en een uitgelezen batiljon musici doen de rest, geholpen door de uitstekende opname kwaliteit waarvoor Jarerd Sacks van Channel garant staat.


(…) heerlijk levendige, elegante, intelligente en frisse interpretatie.

Klassieke Zaken

(…) Beethoven als nieuw, met een orkest uit duizenden en een dirigent die zijn muzikale intelligentie geheel in dienst stelt van de partituur. Er blijft weinig te wensen over. 6.25 out of 5

As with Fischer’s earlier Beethoven recordings these are ‘big band’, not period performances, with a muscular approach but one that avoids any suggestion of heaviness thanks to the athletic thrust and textural clarity that the conductor elicits from his players. (…) The 5.0 DSD recording was made in the generous acoustic of the Palace of Arts, Budapest in February 2017 by Jared Sacks who also undertook the editing and mastering processes. In terms of tonal warmth, clarity and a commendably wide soundstage it achieves the peerless standard of sound quality familiar from Channel Classics releases.

Opus Klassiek

(…) De opname klinkt overigens als een klok. Wie over een surround-installatie beschikt waant zich in een klankparadijs. Wie uitsluitend op stereo is aangewezen hoeft echter zeker niet te treuren en zal zeker niet meer mogen verlangen. De handtekening van Jared Sacks en Daan van Aalst zegt wat dit betreft genoeg.


(…) he gives the music both tautness and swagger, aided by some marvelously potent playing from the horns.

NRC tips

(…) Net uit, dus op tijd voor het Beethovenjaar 2020: heerlijke levendige, elegante, intelligente en frisse interpretatie. (…)


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