Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5

Budapest Festival Orchestra

(10 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: DSD 64
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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 favorite 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’.

excerpt from: liner notes by Clemens Romijn


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
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

Total time: 01:01:41

Additional information





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Van den Hul

Digital Converters

Horus, Merging Technologies

Editing Software

Pyramix, Merging Technologies

Mastering Engineer

Jared Sacks


Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps

Mixing Board

Rens Heijnis, custom design


NativeDSD selectively creates higher DSD bitrates of label's releases using two methods (Merging Technologies Album Publishing and Singnalyst HQPlayer Pro), depending on the original edited master source. In order to understand the processes, a bit of background is appropriate.   NativeDSD sells only recordings that were originally recorded in DSD or DXD (352.8KHz PCM). The overwhelming majority of these recordings were edited and post processed in DXD, then converted (modulated) into DSD deliverable bit rates. NativeDSD acquires the label's original DXD edited master, and using Merging Technologies Album Publishing, creates a first generation DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256, as well as a DXD FLAC deliverable.  Additionally, on selected recordings, a 32bit PCM WAV file is extracted (the DXD PCM FLAC is 24 bits by format definition), and uses it to modulate a DSD512 using HQPlayer Pro. The exception to the above are the few label recordings (Yarlung, Eudora, Just Listen etc.) that record in DSD, and do no PCM post processing mixing, level balancing, EQ etc. That's doable by restricting post processing to just editing, where only the edit transition interval (typically 100ms or less) is PCM converted, leaving the DSD music content unaltered when rendered. For those recordings, the DSD edited master (the actual recording master with edits) is used with HQPlayer Pro to re-modulate the missing DSD bitrates. Why do any of this? It's to provide a DSD bitrate deliverable choice, allowing a customer to purchase the highest DSD bitrate their DAC will support. It's correct that there's no additional music content information contained in the higher DSD bit rate from the original DSD bitrate. What's different is the uncorrelated modulation noise content placement in the frequency spectrum. When a DSD original file is converted to DXD (PCM), the inherent DSD modulation noise is removed through the decimation filtering, and re-inserted when modulated back to DSD. The modulation noise (again, uncorrelated) is the carrier part of the DSD bitstream modulation, and an inherent part of the DSD bit stream.


While the spectorial shape is the same regardless of the DSD bitrate, it's effective start and end points move an octave higher for every doubling of the DSD bitrate. For DSD64, the uncorrelated modulation noise is about -110dB at 20KHz, rising to about -50dB at 100KHz. For DSD512, the modulation noise is about -110dB at 160KHz, and -50dB at 800KHz. What this allows is for the customer's DAC to use gentler, more Gaussian shaped reconstruction filters, with far improved phase response.




Original Recording Format


Jared Sacks

Recording Engineer

Jared Sacks

Recording location

Palace of Arts, Budapest, Hungary

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD 64


Grimm LS1

Release DateNovember 1, 2019

Press reviews

Positive Feedback

Iván Fischer’s Beethoven is stylishly played, with careful attention to balance, elaboration of detail, and a certain bit of elegance. Where a bit of boisterousness is required, Fischer and his Hungarians are perhaps more understated than ribald, but his Beethoven is never staid or boring. In fact, a keynote to Fischer’s Beethoven seems to be “expect the unexpected.” I feel I could say any of this, quite accurately, about any of his Beethoven performances—these are universal characteristics. And most welcome!

These performances are full orchestra, modern instrument, performances—big band, if you will—not period performances. But they are not heavy, nor do they fall under the weight of some notion of needed monumentality. No, these all have a springy sinewy strength to them, with great textural clarity.

The Fifth is a transparent and bracing account. The music has both tautness and swagger. And the playing from the horns sets the world aright… The First is, rather by contrast, all delicate lightness, air and lyrical rightness—simply a delightful romp in the classical period.

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. (…)

Luister 8

(…) 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.


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


(…) 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.


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

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. 5 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.

NRC tips

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


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