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Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5

Budapest Festival Orchestra


SKU: 39719

Year of release: 2019

Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C Major Opus 21 28:07
1. I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio Beethoven 09:15
2. II. Andante cantabile con moto Beethoven 08:39
3. III. Menuetto - Allegro molto e vivace Beethoven 04:08
4. IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace Beethoven 06:04
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Opus 67 33:39
5. I. Allegro con brio Beethoven 07:21
6. II. Andante con moto Beethoven 10:13
7. III. Scherzo - Allegro Beethoven 05:08
8. IV. Allegro - Presto Beethoven 10:54
Total time: 61:47

About this album

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)

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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.


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

NRC tips

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

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.


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

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. (…)

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.

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.

Classics Today

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


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

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.

Technical Specifications

SpeakersGrimm LS1
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
EditingMerging Technologies Pyramix
CablesVan den Hul
Mixing ConsoleRens Heijnis, custom design
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Recording FormatDSD 64
Analog To Digital ConverterHorus, Merging Technologies
Recording DateFebruary 2017
Recording LocationPalace of Arts, Budapest
Recording EngineerJared Sacks, Assistant Recording Engineers: Daan van Aalst, Ausma Lace
ProductionJared Sacks