When listening to a piece of music, or an individual movement, the two most defining and memorable moments are the first notes after the preparatory beat and the silence that comes after the final release. Every other climax, lyric and solo can only take second place. One of the great strengths of the Budapest Festival Orchestra is their flawless execution of these two main moments. Things were no different on September 12. As the critic Dániel Mona wrote in his review:
[…] No matter how long Mahler’s Seventh Symphony is, I felt, and still feel, that the opening and closing notes and passages were the key moments. Iván Fischer handled these moments with astonishing aplomb! The deep strings of the first movement’s funeral march, which broke the mournful silence that preceded it, sent shivers down my spine. The tenor horn (József Bazsinka), the trumpet and the woodwinds passed the main theme around among themselves as if by clockwork, as though they were different tones of the same instrument. The members of the brass section (especially the tenor horn solo) deserve a special mention, for they played faultlessly, with perfect intonation and – most importantly – with a beautiful tone that lasted throughout the piece. They were an indispensable and awe-inspiring part of the tuttis, but also took opportunities to showcase the sensitive, melodious side of their instruments. The beginning of the second movement (Nachtmusik), where two horns call to each other, was one such opportunity. The interplay between the horns was lyrical enough on its own, but the tone changes resulting from their dialogue captivated every ear and foreshadowed the quality of the movement. Almost imperceptibly the clarinets took over and added momentum to the starting motif, and they were gradually accompanied by the rest of the woodwinds. One moment the sun was shining, and before we knew it, dark had fallen, the crickets were chirping, and the night was humming. All this in music – inconspicuously.