Iván Fischer and the Festival Orchestra own the Romantic repertoire, and have done for several years now. They present their interpretation of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony in a supple, precise and most importantly, passionate way. This Channel Classics’ SACD indisputably deserves a place alongside their existing collections of great performances.
There is another reason to buy this recording. On it, Fischer offers three Hungarian Dances (Nos. 3, 7, and 11) as bonus tracks. Brahms’ expert filtering of traditional folk music never fails to hit the spot. Especially when you can also hear the original inspiration, such as in this case. As if providing an explanatory introduction, three members of the orchestra present Hungarian folk music from the Transylvanian town of Szék. They play melodies that Brahms adapted for his Third Hungarian Dance. And what a terrific contrast they give.