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Traditionally one of the most hotly contested categories, and the sparring ground of today's major conductors and orchestras, this is a strong line-up. Often the territory of the 'core' works, the Class of 2012 brings together two very different symphony cycles.

Iván Fischer and his magnificent Budapest Festival Orchestra just get better with every year, and with Channel Classics their loyal and highly talented recording partners each disc they bring out is a gem. Here’s a Rite of Spring that has rhythmic, melodic and harmonic life in perfect balance and which also has the power to shock. And the couplings are magnificent too.

Stravinsky The Rite of Spring. Firebird Suite Budapest Festival Orchestra / Iván Fischer (Channel Classics)

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/awards/2012/orchestral