Beethoven – Symphony No. 7

Budapest Festival Orchestra

Original Recording Format: DSD 64
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What would it have been like to hear Beethoven’s seventh symphony at the first performance? How did listeners react to hearing the endless repetition of the first movement’s dotted rhythm? Would they have been shocked to hear the melody of the second movement which repeats the same note twelve times? How did they respond to the finale’s obsessive rhythmical drive which must have seemed like the rock music of the nineteenth century? It’s ‘exciting’ to hear this well known symphony together with contemporary works which may have been performed in the same year. Wilhelm Wilms followed the classical tradition of Haydn and Mozart with some innovative moments. His 5th symphony, composed a few years earlier had been published during the time when Beethoven worked on his masterpiece. The most popular composer of the day was undoubtedly Rossini. He created a completely new vocal style that influenced many other musicians. The slow movement of Weber’s clarinet concerto for example sounds more operatic than instrumental in character. This was the environment in which Beethoven developed his strikingly original ideas. It must have been quite an ‘ear opener’ to hear a symphony start with gentle wind chamber music supported by massive accents of the rest of the orchestra. What a contrast! Iván Fischer On 8 and 12 December 1813, two charity concerts took place in Vienna during which Ludwig von Beethoven conducted some new orchestral works. In the fall of that year the combined Austrian and Bavarian troops had beaten the French troops in the decisive battle at Hanau, ringing in a long expected beginning of the end of the Napoleontic wars. It had been a terribly bloody battle with many victims on both sides. The proceeds of the two concerts accrued to the widows and orphans of the fallen Austrian soldiers. It is understandable that in the euphoria of that moment, the Austrian victory on the French, Beethoven’s works that were performed were considered victory music. For one of the pieces, the Symphony nr.7 in A-major, that is an apt description. It is a work with a positive, optimistic, (…….)


Symphony No. 7 Opus 92 - Poco sostenuto
Symphony No. 7 Opus 92 - Allegretto
Symphony No. 7 Opus 92 - Presto
Symphony No. 7 Opus 92 - Allegro con brio
Concerto For Clarinet In F Minor No. I - Adagio
L'Italiana In Algeri - Sinfonia
Sinfonia A Grand Orchestre, No. IV In C Minor - Op. 23 - Rondo

Total time: 01:00:45

Additional information





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van den Hul

Digital Converters

Meitner A/D DSD / Meitner DA

Mastering Engineer

Jared Sacks

Mastering Equipment

B&W 803 diamond series


Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps

Mixing Board

Rens Heijnis custom design


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Original Recording Format


Hein Dekker

Recording Engineer

Hein Dekker, Jared Sacks

Recording location

The Palace of Arts, Budapest Hungary 2008

Recording Software

Pyramix bij Merging

Recording Type & Bit Rate



Audiolab, Holland

Release Date January 19, 2014

Press reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Ivan Fischer conducts the modern-instrument Budapest Festival Orchestra in a stylish, comfortable, beautifully played and recorded Seventh symphony. Do we need these extra pieces by Rossini, Weber and Wilms to realize just how fierce and serious Beethoven seemed in his own time? Maybe, but the adagio from the Weber concerto is, in any case, seriously nice to encounter.

Classique Info

L’une des plus réussies que nous ayons entendue. (…)
Le son du Budapest Festival Orchestra est plein, rond, très coloré (…)
Un disque remarquable, donc, qui couple l’une des plus belles Septième récemment parues avec des morceaux de musique intéressants (…)
) rien de ce qu’il y a ici ne saurait vous déplaire!


‘Zo’n!’ krachtige en gedetailleerde uitvoering op cd zal niet zo gemakkelijk te vinden zijn (…) (…) Spannende uitvoering, heerlijke muziek. Het fraaie orkestspel en de doorzichtige opname maakt de luisteraar alleen maar blij!


Ivan Fischer dirigiert hier eine klassische schöne und volltönende Siebte, und angesichts der heutigen zwanghaften Suche nach dem Anderssein tut Fischers Interpretation sogar richtig gut. (…) Das Budapest Festival Orchestra sielt auf einem sehr hohen niveau und setzt Fischers Konzept maximal um.


Avec une passion communicative, Ivan Fischer et le Budapest Festival Orchestra, donnent à cet enregistrement atypique un caractère unique à la fois fascinant et jubilatoire. Tout ici est placé sous le signe de l’ivresse sonore, à l’image d’une septième symphonie grandiose et exaltante. Dans une prise de son en pur DSD essentielle, ce Super Audio CD ravira autant les mélomanes curieux que les audiophiles exigeants.

De Gelderlander

Fischer laat Beethoven bruisen, maar geeft tegelijkertijd alle ruimte aan de adem van de muziek. Dat levert onverwacht relaxte momenten op.


De dirigent en het orkest hebben een uitvoering afgeleverd, waarvan het niet eens overdreven is om te zeggen dat ze voor de eeuwigheid is bestemd. Fischer is ondanks zijn bekendheid een onderschatte chef. Iemand moet zeggen dat hij tot de allergrootsten van onze tijd behoort. Dat die Zevende bovendien verschijnt of een hybride SACD – een technologie die bij Channel Classics meer is dan zomaar een gimmick – maakt van deze nieuwe opname helemaal een aantrekkelijk alternatief voor om het even welke andere versie die te koop is.


Op deze cd bewijzen de Boedapesters dat ook Beethoven bij hen in goede handen is (…) (…) Een magnifiek en mooi opgenomen cd. Klassieke Zaken Spetterend, briljant, doorzichtig, hoeveel superlatieven moet ik nog meer gebruiken om deze nieuwste opname te bestempelen? (…) Overdonderd door de ‘drive’ en het met ‘schwung’ spelende orkest onder Fischer (…)

Classics Today France

Ho-Ho-Ho, dirait le père Noël: voici une grande 7e Symphonie de Beethoven, qui se signale notamment par intelligence fulgurante. Le plus beau que j’ai entendu depuis long temps

Fischer n’utilise pas les ressorts baroqueux, mais le résultat auquel il parvient est plus qu’honorable: énergique, colorée, ludique, sa lecture est peut-être l’une des plus réussies que nous ayons entendue. (…) (…) Un disque remarquable, donc, qui couple l’une des plus belles Septième récemment parues avec des morceaux de musique intéressants (…)


Fischer en de zijnen combineren Beethovens Zevende – zijn friste en in veel opzichten avontuurlijkste – met stukken van tijdgenoten, waarna nog maar eens blijkt hoezeer Beethoven buiten alle bestaande categorieën viel. Die uitvoering van de Zevende is daarnaast ook nog eens een van de opwindendste die ooit op plaat zijn vastgelegd. De delen drie en vier, Presto en Allegro con brio swingen zo ongehoord meedogenloos dat je je afvraagt wie hier stil bij kan blijven zitten. De technische brille van het orkest is hier imposant. Maar als er gezongen moet worden, kunnen ze dat ook, getuige het altijd weer ontroerende Allegretto.


The musicians spare us no blushes with their startlingly bold interjections and unsettling outburst of searing protest, spectacularly caught by Channel’s engineers in SACS surround sound. (…) (…) Wispelwey retains his philosophical and expressive composure, setting his small voice against the might of a symphonic orchestra in full cry (…) and the result is one of the most deeply moving accounts of a Shostakovitch score I have heard in a long time (…)
Weber is beautifully played. The Rossini is great fun. The Wilms finale has spirit and ingenuity.

Classics 5 out of 5

Ivan Fischer’s Beethoven Seventh surely ranks with the best among recent performances. The first-movement introduction isn’t too slow, and the allegro is a delightful romp full of arresting wind detail. The Allegretto stands among the most beautifully paced and balanced since Szell’s. In the Scherzo, Fischer manages a swift basic pace that achieves the minor miracle of never sounding mechanical, while the finale has athleticism and unusual textural transparency at a very lively tempo…. it doesn’t get much better.”

BBC Music Magazine 5 out of 5

First-Class recording, sound & performance 5*

Audiophile Audition

Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra give us a brilliantly realized Beethoven 7th; I can’t really say that I’ve ever heard anything by this orchestra and conductor that I wasn’t thoroughly impressed with. As usual, Channel Classics provides a spectacular Meitner/Pyramix-based DSD recording, and the sound is absolutely to die for. Only the oddly truncated program choices keep this disc from getting five stars. Highly recommended.

The Times Online

A spring-heeled conductor such as Iván Fischer was born for Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, and this account with his Budapest Festival Orchestra is a bubbling delight. Smile at his teasing with the introduction’s transition; bask in the allegretto’s light grace; dance and leap with the tumbling finale. Fischer whips up tremendous excitement, but still gives us playing of shining finesse. Rossini, Weber and a lesser light, Wilms, offer novel fillers.

The Guardian 5 out of 5

As a totality, the disc is consequently bitty, but the performance of the Seventh ranks, without question, among the greatest ever recorded. With the Budapest Festival Orchestra playing as if their lives depended on it, it’s superbly articulated, thrillingly elated and emotionally exhausting. Weber, on first hearing the work, wondered whether its composer was insane, and for once you understand why. Utterly compelling.


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