Stravinsky – Rite of Spring, Firebird Suite, Scherzo, Tango

Budapest Festival Orchestra

(1 customer review)
Original Recording Format: DSD 64
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“The recipe seems simple: take a simple melody of six notes and repeat it in the same order, accentuating a different note each time.

For example:
3 4 2 5
1 2 3 4 2 5
1 2 3 4 2 5

Here we have the beginning of the Sacre du Printemps (with a short transition between lines 2 and 3)! Next step: add a rhythmic pattern and repeat it many times. Prepare a few of these and combine them thoroughly until you get a polyrhythmic and polytonal mix! Finished.With his simple recipe, Stravinsky changed the world. Many plants grew from this seed: beat, rock, rap, minimal music…A pagan, sacrifice ritual with shocking music and shocking choreography: three exceptional talents – Roerich, Nijinsky and Stravinsky – brought about an artistic revolution with a masterstroke.100 years later it still sounds fresh, pagan, scary, new and beautiful.”  Iván Fischer


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - Introduction
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - The Augurs of Spring - Dances of the Young Girls
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - Ritual of Abduction
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - Spring Rounds
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - Ritual of the Rival Tribes
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - Procession of the Sage
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - The Sage
Rite of Spring - Adoration of the Earth - Dance of Earth
Rite of Spring - Second Part The Scarifice - Introduction
Rite of Spring - Second Part The Scarifice -Mystic Circles of the Young Girls
Rite of Spring - Second Part The Scarifice -Glorification of the Chosen One
Rite of Spring - Second Part The Scarifice -Evocation of the Ancestors
Rite of Spring - Second Part The Scarifice -Ritual Action of the Ancestors
Rite of Spring - Second Part The Scarifice -Sacrificial Dance -The Chosen One
Firebird Suite - Introduction
Firebird Suite - The Firebirds Dance
Firebird Suite - The Firebirds Variations
Firebird Suite - The Princesses Round Dance
Firebird Suite - The Infernal Dance
Firebird Suite - Berceuse
Firebird Suite - Finale
Scherzo a la Russe - Symphonic Version
Tango No.72 - Orchestral Version

Total time: 01:02:35

Additional information





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van den Hul

Digital Converters

Grimm 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


Jared Sacks

Recording Engineer

Jared Sacks, Dan van Aalst

Recording location

The Palace of Arts Budapest Hungary 2012

Recording Software

Pyramix bij Merging

Recording Type & Bit Rate



Audiolab, Holland

Release DateJanuary 5, 2014

Press reviews


(…) Deze versie staat vóóraan in de rij van vaak te draaien opnames, da’s wel zeker.

Classics Today

(…) Fischer’s reading combines an exceptional care for detail (Dance of the Firebird) with plenty of excitement in the Infernal Dance and Finale. It’s a great performance (…)

The Sunday Times

(…) The Rite of Spring remains a seismic event in the history of music, still astounding in a performance as gripping and as powerful as this live account by Fischer’s BFO. These Hungarians manage the remarkable feat of making this familiar music sound ever fresh and new — I love Fischer’s chamber-music textures in Dances of the Adolescent Girls, and his Dance of the Earth sounds positively volcanic. The couplings are generous: Fischer favours the 1919 Firebird Suite over the complete ballet. It is ravishingly played, and there are two “encores”, the 1944 symphonic version of Scherzo à la Russe and the 1940 orchestration of Tango No 72., performance 5 stars / sonics 5 stars

The countless admirers of Ivan Fischer and his marvellous Budapest Festival Orchestra will be delighted by the appearance of this magnificently executed and spectacularly recorded Stravinsky SACD. Writing about ‘The Rite of Spring’ in the liner notes Ivan Fischer says that even after 100 years “it still sounds fresh, pagan, scary, new and beautiful”. His gripping account of this much-recorded work that opens the disc triumphantly translates each of these five adjectives into a spine tingling musical realisation of this iconic work that will surely place it amongst the finest versions in the catalogue. (…) the 5.0 DSD recording is terrific, with a spread that extends way beyond the front speakers and to the rear of one’s listening room. (…) How ever many recordings of these works you have in your collection you should certainly investigate this one – another undoubted triumph for Channel Classics.

Classical Candor

(…) Fischer handles the lyrical portions of the score splendidly, delicately and airily, with plenty of atmosphere. (…) Fischer combines his exceptional lyricism with the composer’s intense desire to conjure up a full breakthrough of spring after a frozen Russian winter. (…) The 1919 suite of seven movements from The Firebird comes off especially well, very mysterious, moody, and exotic. The Scherzo a la Russe and Tango show us an older, lighter, more-playful Stravinsky, music in which Fischer appears to take particular delight. (…) the two-channel stereo sound to which I listened on this hybrid disc is wonderfully cohesive, with a lifelike sense of stage depth and a wide stereo spread.

The Observer

Ivan Fischer’s new Rite of Spring is lean and hungry, razor-sharp and matches his description of it: “fresh, pagan, scary, new and beautiful”.

The Times

(…) The rather fruity acoustic of the orchestra’s usual recording venue, Budapest’s Palace of Arts, adds a memorable depth of resonance to the timpani thwacks and rampaging brass in Stravinsky’s revolutionary score. (…) This is one of the earthiest, most pagan accounts of the ballet around… before you play it, warn the neighbours.” (…) an ear-stretching interpretation


(…) couleurs somptueuses, d’une grande virtuosité individuelle et collective, prise de son spectaculaire mais pas trop, direction acérée et analytique : Ivan Fischer propose une grande version moderne du Sacre du Printemps (…)


(…) Van Le Sacre bestaan vele versies, maar die van Ivan Fischer en zijn Budapest Festival Orchestra bleef lang verwacht. Er is geen betere ploeg: nergens anders versterken het genie van de chef en de zelfredzaamheid van het orkest elkaar zozeer. (…)

Het Parool

Overrompelend van energie. (…) allemaal op het niveau dat je van Fischer en de zijnen verwacht. (…)

De Morgen

Hongaarse durfal (…) van wat ooit een shocker was, de Sacre du Printemps, brengt Fischer een interpretatie die een soort van heidense aardsheid paradoxaal aan veel klankschoonheid en lyriek koppelt. (…) een flonkerende weergave van de Vuurvogel-suite (…)


(…) Fischer makes emends with one of the finest Rites in the catalogue. (…)

Klassiek Centraal

Iván Fischer: muzikant van vlees en bloed (…) Eén ding staat als een paal boven water: deze cd door het Budapest Festival Orchetsra o.l.v. Iván Fischer wordt dé nieuwe referentie. (…)


(…) Man kann nur staunen über die bis ins letzte Detail ausgefeilte Perfektion und Klangkultur dieses Weltklass-Orchesters (…)

Stereoplay (audiophile record of the month)

(…) einzigartigen kollektiven Musikalität und einer einheitlichen emotionalen Ausstrahlung. Denn selten hat man in letzten Jahren auf einem Tonträger Strawinskys ‘Sacre’, diese Orgie des Rhythmus und raffinierten Klangfarben, so perfekt, so bedrohlich schön, so bis ins letzte Detail ausgehört und so haptisch-kompakt zu hören bekommen, also in einer kaum noch zu überbietenden lebendigen Klangkultur. (…)

CLASS Aktuell

(…) Iván Fischer zeigt Strawinsky von seiner farbigen, witzigen Seite.

CLASS Aktuell

(…) Iván Fischer zeigt Strawinsky von seiner farbigen, witzigen Seite.

De Volkskrant

(…) Stravinsky’s scandaleuze ritmiek beukt vol in de onderbuik. Tegelijkertijd houdt Fischer oog voor melodische kronkelingen en voor het geweld waarmee muzikale aardlagen langs elkaar schuiven. Ook de Vuurvogelsuite profiteert van een superieure opnamekwaliteit. record of the month

Clearly rejecting the self-conscious histrionics of many (recent) recordings of the Rite, Fischer and his Hungarian musicians have placed the emphasis on musicianship rather than showmanship. Variations in dynamics and particularly tempos are used to the full; every last nuance of the sinuously intertwining threads of the music and the constantly changing rhythms that underpin them is lovingly laid bare; the musicians play as if they are living every last note of the music. The overall effect is one of a truly primitive and pagan event. All this has been recorded in the magnificent sound that we have come to expect from Jared Sacks and his people at Netherlands-based Channel Classics. The performance of the Firebird (the shorter 7 movement 1919 version) is equally as impressive (in fact, the best I have heard). The two shorter pieces complete a thoroughly enjoyable musical experience. In summary – great music, wonderful performance, demonstration class recording.

De Telegraaf

(…) De Hongaarse dirigent zet in op felle kleuren, heldere schuurkracht en een verhalende toon. Als bij Fischer de remmen losgaan, is er ook echt iets aan de hand. Zo krijgt de Sacre pregnant reliëf. Vuurvogelsuite (1919), Scherzo à la Russe en Tango No. 72 completeren deze geslaagde cd.


Orchestre aux couleurs somptueuses, d’une grande virtuosité individuelle et collective, prise de son spectaculaire (…) Il garde la musique “pure”, c’est efficace, et cela nous vaut surtout de très beaux jeux de timbres qui flattent l’auditeur à la première écoute (…)

Schönheit der Gewalt (…) Iván Fischers oft und zu Recht beschworene Funktion als Orchestererzieher scheint auf dieser Aufnahme erneut durch. Mögen Fischer und das von ihm vor Jahrzehnten begründete Budapest Festival Orchestra ein längst fest eingespieltes Team sein – die Klarheit in Phrasierung und Klangfarbe verblüfft in ihrer Beispiellosigkeit stets wieder.

Audiophile Audition

This is the first recorded performance of the Rite of Spring that makes me believe that the work could have caused that riot at its premiere in Paris in 1913. All of Ivan Fischer’s recordings with Channel Classics have been excellent; this is the first big symphony orchestra outside of the Netherlands that the label has been recording, and the hi-res surround is first rate, as with all of their efforts. The wild rhythms and primitive percussion really grab the listener. (…)


(…) een onvermijdelijk gevoel van authenticiteit (…) als slimme muzikant weet hij tot de kern van de muziek door te dringen. (…) Dat is de crux: Fischer benadert Stravinsky vanuit de Romantiek. Daar gaat hij ongemeen lekker van klinken.

(…) This is perhaps the finest performance I’ve ever heard, the rhythm and drive is electrifying. The winds and brass have that “bite” they have live in the concert hall, and the strings are analog smooth with just the right touch of scariness to suit the piece.(…)


The Orchestra portrays a thrilling sound in this performance and captures the essence of Stravinsky’s ballet score. (…) The disc offers demonstration quality sound and performances. (…) A must own disc.

Sunday Times

Mahler conducted the first performance of his debut symphony in Budapest. It was a notorious flop, but, in modern times, this astounding youthful essay by a composer at the heart of the Austro-Hungarian empire has been reclaimed by Hungarian musicians. Fischer’s elite band have already displayed superb Mahlerian credentials. This lovely account of the First, with it’s allusions to Songs of a Wayfarer, Mahler’s early vocal masterpiece, and homage, in the “stormy” finale, to Beethoven’s Ninth, is especially remarkable in Fischer’s delicate, chamber-like intimacy in repose and his lilting, rustic way with the Landler-like dance rhythms.


(…) this performance achieves a tightrope balance that sets it apart from other recordings and make the symphony’s vast canvas lucid, cohesive and still exciting throughout its many abrupt shifts. Fischer culls seamless transitions as the work vacillates among emotional extremes, as well as a sense of raw abandon, without sacrificing too much tone quality. He allows unabashed sentiment without becoming saccharine. After a suspenseful opening, the first movement theme (which the composer also used in “Songs of a Wayfarer”) is warmly and ingratiatingly played. Smoothness, grandeur and playfulness contrast elegiac, slightly hoarse downward slides that lead into anguished and then manic sections. The folkish scherzo has just the right mix of brightness and the finale musters plenty of fearsome power. (…)

American Record Guide

(…) From the first growl of the introduction, Fischer and his players give us the music straight, full of energy and often just a bit out of control. The resolution of the SACD is particularly welcome here, giving the orchestra a rich, warm sound that matches the vigorous but unforced interpretation. (…)

1 review for Stravinsky – Rite of Spring, Firebird Suite, Scherzo, Tango

    Some little noises on the right channel (all along the recording). These are very light noises but shouldn’t exist. Annoying for a headphone listening but OK on loudspeakers.

    Pierre Boulez is a better interpretation for my taste but the sound take on the Boulez is pretty bad! But Ivan Fisher did a good one on this album.

    A bit disappointed for my first order I would say. Let’s try another one.

    Thanks to Jonas!

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